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Monday 21 October 2019

Provident sounds alarm over NSF takeover tilt

The doorstep lender said NSF’s offer is ‘strategically and financially flawed’.

Provident has lashed out at NSF’s takeover offer (Provident Financial/PA)
Provident has lashed out at NSF’s takeover offer (Provident Financial/PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Provident has again hit out at Non-Standard Finance’s £1.3 billion takeover approach for the doorstep lender, labelling it “financially flawed”.

The company claimed on Monday that NSF, a sub-prime lender, is unwilling or unable to address a number of key issues.

Among the chief concerns is that NSF’s plans for Provident – outlined in an offer document over the weekend – are “strategically and financially flawed” and present “significant risk in terms of both execution and shareholder value”.

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Provident Financial Group chief executive Malcolm Le May said NSF ‘has once again failed to address the key problems with its offer’ (Brunswick Group/PA)

Provident chief executive Malcolm Le May said: “Despite the voluminous offer document, NSF has once again failed to address the key problems with its offer; in particular that the regulatory environment has rightly changed beyond recognition in recent years, that Vanquis Bank is now the main driver of the business, and that any attempt to distribute significant capital through the sale of Moneybarn is fraught with risk.”

Chairman Patrick Snowball said the turnaround of Provident is under way and the NSF offer risks jeopardising it.

NSF chief executive John van Kuffeler, a former Provident man, is leading the hostile takeover charge.

But last Thursday, the City watchdog wrote to NSF warning that its proposed takeover could break consumer protection rules.

Nevertheless, the group has since reiterated its belief that a £1.3 billion takeover of Provident will “unlock substantial value for all shareholders”.

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