May 10, 2019 / 6:30 AM / a month ago

Provident says NSF offer still way short of investor backing

May 10 (Reuters) - UK sub-prime lender Provident Financial said on Friday that 96 percent of the shares held by its independent shareholders have yet to be signed up to a hostile takeover offer from Non-Standard Finance (NSF), just days before a final deadline for the deal.

NSF, whose bid is led by CEO John van Kuffeler, a former Provident boss, has had the backing of the holders of just over 51 percent of Provident’s shares since it launched its offer, but has made almost no progress towards a 90 percent target.

NSF has extended the closing date for its offer by one week to May 15 and said it would not extend the deadline again.

Provident said it and advisers had met and engaged constructively with shareholders owning about 35 percent of the company, reiterating its call for a rejection of the offer.

NSF’s 1.3 billion pound ($1.69 billion) bid for Provident has turned into a bitter war of words between the two subprime lenders, with NSF accusing Provident Financial executives of mismanaging the company.

Provident’s third-biggest shareholder British asset manager Schroders Plc said on Wednesday it would not accept the bid. ($1 = 0.7691 pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru)

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