Women's Health

MARKET REPORT: Takeover snub pushes shares of Pendragon car dealership higher


Shares of Pendragon surged after the car dealership revealed it had approved a takeover offer, but talks broke down after a major shareholder failed to commit.

The takeover bid from an anonymous bidder was for 29p a share, representing a 35% premium to Thursday’s closing price.

But the offer was conditional on the support of the company’s five major shareholders and only four backed the deal.

Unnamed bidder: Pendragon said the bid required

Unnamed bidder: Pendragon said the bid required “commitments from all major shareholders of Pendragon”

Pendragon said the offer required “commitments from all major shareholders of Pendragon.”

The latest bid for Pendragon comes five months after company shareholder Anders Hedin, boss of Swedish car retailer Hedin Group, tabled a bid that was rejected by Pendragon’s board.

A broker said: “I suspect Hedin has blocked this latest takeover bid for Pendragon.”

Pendragon’s other four major shareholders are Schroders, Odey, Briarwood Chase and Hosking Partners. Together with Hedin, they hold a combined stake of 64.78%. News of the takeover comes two years after talks between Pendragon and Lookers over a possible merger stalled, ending a process that would have created the UK’s largest car retailing group. United. The shares jumped 8.4%, or 1.8p, to 23.3p.

Overall, the FTSE 100 fell 0.1%, or 8.32 points, to 7,439.74 while the FTSE 250 fell 0.5%, or 104.28 points, to 20,051.48 .

The decline in the Footsie would have been larger had it not been for some enthusiasm for miners, particularly copper miner Antofagasta, which rose 3.6%, or 40.5p, to 1170.5p as the price of copper rose by 2%.

Homebuilders were behind on further signs of cooling in the housing market. As if the Bank of England’s rate hike wasn’t bad enough, the Halifax reported that the average UK house price fell 0.1% in July.

Taylor Wimpey, down 3.7%, or 4.7p, to 123.15p, was the hardest hit of the big names in the industry, while property listings website operator Rightmove slipped down 2.8%, or 18.6p, to 644.4p.

Tullow Oil reversed earlier losses to end 3.4%, or 1.7p higher, at 52.1p, overcoming a disappointing drilling result at the BeebeiPotaro exploration well off the coast of Guyana.

The company has now plugged and abandoned the well.

Meanwhile, Capita has failed to impress investors as it continues to offload non-core activities to bolster its balance sheet.

The company, which is responsible for enforcing BBC TV licenses and providing customer support services for Scottish Power, saw profits plunge to just £100,000 from £261million a year earlier.

He attributed the sharp decline to weaker-than-expected returns from the sale of some of his businesses. The shares fell 8.5%, or 2.48p, to 26.86p. On the brokerage front, Barclays downgraded Hikma Pharmaceuticals following the pharmaceutical company’s half-year report on Thursday.

“With further downward revision to the numbers and no permanent CEO, we believe it is difficult to inject fresh money into the name,” the broker said, as it cut the target price to 1750p against 2250p previously. Hikma shares are trading at 1604.5p, down 2.8%, or 46p yesterday.

Citigroup reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation for Serco after the subcontractor’s results this week, but it did the shares a lot of good, which fell 4.6%, or 8.4p, to 174.8p . Citi estimates they are worth 255p and says the market has not appreciated the US defense opportunity for the company.

Among tiddlers, Amur Minerals jumped 43.8%, or 0.39p, to 1.27p after finding a buyer for its Kun-Manie project in Russia’s far east. The company persuaded Bering Metals to buy the project for £29 million.

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