May 8, 2019 / 6:48 AM / 17 days ago

Provident Financial investor Schroders to snub NSF bid

(Reuters) - Provident Financial Plc’s third-biggest shareholder British asset manager Schroders Plc said on Wednesday it would not accept Non-Standard Finance Plc’s hostile takeover bid for the subprime lender.

NSF’s 1.3 billion pound hostile 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, established in 1880 and based in the northern English city of Bradford, has been rebuilding after a botched restructuring of its home credit business led to profit warnings and the departure of its chief executive officer in 2017.

“Schroders does not believe that NSF’s offer is in the best interest of PFG shareholders ... NSF’s bid risks destabilising this recovery, and brings additional regulatory risks and uncertainty,” Schroders said in a letter to Provident’s chairman.

Schroders holds a 14.6 percent stake in Provident. NSF, whose bid is led by CEO John van Kuffeler, a former Provident boss, has the backing of the holders of just over 51 percent of Provident’s shares, well short of its 90 percent target.

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

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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