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MARKET REPORT: Takeover snub revs up shares in car dealer Pendragon


Shares in Pendragon jumped after the car dealer revealed it approved a takeover offer but talks ended as a major shareholder didn’t engage. 

The takeover offer from an unnamed bidder was 29p per share, representing a 35 per cent premium to Thursday’s closing price. 

But the offer was contingent on support from the company’s top five shareholders and only four backed the deal. 

Unnamed bidder: Pendragon said the bid needed 'commitments from all of Pendragon's major shareholders'

Unnamed bidder: Pendragon said the bid needed ‘commitments from all of Pendragon’s major shareholders’

Pendragon said the bid needed ‘commitments from all of Pendragon’s major shareholders’. 

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

One broker said: ‘I suspect Hedin blocked this latest takeover bid for Pendragon.’ 

Pendragon’s other four largest shareholders are Schroders, Odey, Briarwood Chase and Hosking Partners. Together with Hedin they have a combined stake of 64.78 per cent. 

News of the takeover comes two years after talks between Pendragon and Lookers about a potential merger stalled, ending a process which would have created the UK’s largest car retail group. Shares jumped 8.4 per cent, or 1.8p, to 23.3p. 

Overall the FTSE 100 fell 0.1 per cent, or 8.32 points, to 7439.74 while the FTSE 250 retreated 0.5 per cent, or 104.28 points, to 20,051.48. 

The Footsie’s decline would have been greater but for some enthusiasm for miners, particularly copper miner Antofagasta, which was up 3.6 per cent, or 40.5p, at 1170.5p, as the price of copper rose 2 per cent. 

Housebuilders were off the pace on further signs that the housing market is cooling. As if the Bank of England’s rate hike was not bad enough, the Halifax reported the average UK house price fell by 0.1 per cent in July. 

Taylor Wimpey, down 3.7 per cent, or 4.7p, at 123.15p, was the hardest hit of the big names in the sector, while Rightmove, the property listings website operator, slid 2.8 per cent, or 18.6p, to 644.4p. 

Tullow Oil reversed earlier losses to finish 3.4 per cent, 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 failed to impress investors as it continues to offload non-core businesses to strengthen its balance sheet. 

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

It put the sharp fall down to weaker-than-expected returns from the sale of some of its businesses. Shares tumbled 8.5 per cent, or 2.48p, to 26.86p. On the broker front, Barclays downgraded Hikma Pharmaceuticals in the wake of the drugs company’s half-year report on Thursday. 

‘With yet another downward revision to numbers and without a permanent CEO, we think it is difficult to put new money into the name,’ the broker said, as it chopped the target price to 1750p from 2250p previously. Hikma shares trade at 1604.5p, down 2.8 per cent, or 46p yesterday. 

Citigroup reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation for Serco after the outsourcer’s results this week but much good it did the shares, which fell 4.6 per cent, or 8.4p, to 174.8p. Citi reckons they are worth 255p and says the market has failed to appreciate the US defence opportunity for the company. 

Among the tiddlers, Amur Minerals shot up 43.8 per cent, or 0.39p, to 1.27p after it found a buyer for its Kun-Manie project in far east Russia. The company has persuaded Bering Metals to buy the project for £29million.

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