Brewer does shares u-turn

brewer Wolverhampton & Dudley is changing plans for a £100m shares buy-back after receiving little interest in the offer. Shareholders snubbed Wolves' plans to buy shares at 491p after seeing the brewer's market value surge in recent weeks. Wolves, which brews Banks's and Pedigree, set the buy-back price in August as part of its successful defence from a takeover bid by rival pubs group Pubmaster. The group promised to return £200m to shareholders in two tranches, the first by the end of the year and the second by April 2003. But its shares have since climbed to as high as 564p, helped by annual results showing a 17 per cent jump in pre-tax profits.

MOTHER'S PRIDE: Wearside businesswoman Justine Ellis is a finalist in The Prince's Trust Young Achiever category of The Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards 2002. The 30-year-old from Millfield, in Sunderland, set up her own fashion retailing business, Gemini, in August with a £2,650 loan and a £350 grant from the Trust, following 12 years of unemployment during which she brought up two sons. The winners will be announced on March 6, 2002.

lift-off: Prototyping company Amsys, in Sunderland, has completed a major contract with Bison Bede for parts for a new electric stairlift. Amsys produced 50 pre-production parts for Consett-based Bison Bede's new Classic Compact stairlift, ensuring that the company could complete pre-production testing of the new design.

Bank's boost: Clydesdale Bank has helped fashion retailer Mackays Stores to change its ownership, backing founder's son Iain McGeoch in his bid to acquire his brother Len's shareholding.