UPDATE: Provident Notes Other Conditions On Non-Standard Finance Bid

Wed, 15th May 2019 18:16

LONDON (Alliance News) - Provident Financial PLC on Wednesday said that Non-Standard Finance PLC's offer is still "subject to a number of material conditions".

Non-Standard Finance separately said that its GB1.3 billion hostile bid had become unconditional as to acceptances.

Sub-prime lender Provident further said 92% of shares held by independent shareholders have not accepted the offer. Provident defines these independently held shares shares as being those other than the ones held by Woodford Investment Management Ltd, Invesco Asset Management Ltd, and Marathon Asset Management LLP.

Provident also noted that Non-Standard Finance's valid acceptances have been received in respect of just 135.7 million Provident shares or only 53% of total shares, "a level of acceptances insufficient to delist Provident or to commence the compulsory acquisition procedure".

Provident also noted that the acceptances constitute "an incremental increase" of 4% in the 12 weeks since the offer was launched.

Among the conditions not yet satisfied or waived are approvals by the UK Financial Conduct Authority, Competition & Markets Authority, and Prudential Regulation Authority.

"The Provident board therefore re-confirms that it continues not to recommend the offer and strongly advises all Provident shareholders to continue to take no action in relation to the [Non-Standard Finance] offer," said Provident.

Earlier Wednesday, Non-Standard Finance said its offer for Provident Financial was now unconditional. At 1300 GMT on Wednesday, Non-Standard Finance had received acceptances representing 53% of Provident's issued share capital and its acceptance condition has been lowered to 50% from 90%.

Non-Standard Finance launched its GB1.3 billion hostile bid for Provident in March, which has become increasingly acrimonious since. Provident has objected to the takeover, calling it "fraught with risks". In return, the bidder, has accused Provident of making "incorrect assertions" about Non-Standard Finance's capital position.

Non-Standard Finance said that - having passed the milestone - it will approach Provident again in the hope of establishing "pragmatic and constructive dialogue".

Non-Standard Finance Chief Executive John van Kuffeler said: "We are pleased to have passed today's important milestone and are focused on satisfying all remaining conditions as soon as possible so that we can start to unlock substantial value for shareholders and restore Provident's business culture for the benefit of its customers and employees."

Shares in Non-Standard Finance closed down 1.5% at 48.00 pence on Wednesday. Provident's shares closed down 6.5% at 450.00p.

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