June 4, 2019 / 5:19 PM / 20 days ago

Provident Financial investor Janus Henderson to reject NSF's bid

June 4 (Reuters) - Lender Provident Financial said shareholder Janus Henderson Investors does not plan to accept the hostile takeover bid for Provident by Non-Standard Finance , adding that more than one-fifth of its shareholders hold the same position.

“We have not been convinced of a compelling logic for the combination of NSF with PFG,” said Antony Marsden, head of governance and responsible investment, Janus Henderson Investors.

In a statement after markets closed on Tuesday, Provident revealed the letter sent to the company by Marsden, noting that Janus Henderson stood by the doorstep lender’s strategy and added that recent results suggested good progress towards recovery of the home credit unit.

Provident has been rebuilding itself after a botched restructuring of its home credit business led to profit warnings and the departure of its chief executive officer in 2017.

NSF, controlled by funds who also own just over 50 percent of Provident, last month dropped the level of acceptances needed to press ahead with the bid after winning over investors with 53.53% of its shares, well short of its original 90% target.

The midcap company, established in 1880 and based in the northern English city of Bradford, said on Tuesday about 21.6% of its shareholders have stated their intention to not accept the 1.3 billion pound offer from NSF.

Provident also urged its shareholders not to take any action in relation to the offer from NSF, which is led by CEO John van Kuffeler, a former Provident boss.

NSF declined to comment.

Asset manager and Provident’s third-biggest shareholder Schroders said last month that NSF’s bid risks destabilising the company’s recovery, while the Telegraph reported this week that another shareholder, Aberdeen, has also said it will not accept the offer.

Janus Henderson, a wholly owned unit of Janus Henderson Group Plc, currently owns 3.4 million shares in Provident, which has 253.38 million shares outstanding according to Refinitiv data. (Reporting by Samantha Machado and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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