Takeover consortium gets green light from EU to pursue challenger bank Shawbrook

Lucy White
Europe Wrestles With Debt Crisis
The proposed £825m acquisition has not been accepted by Shawbrook's board. (Source: Getty)

Pollen Street Capital and BC Partners, the private equity consortium mounting a takeover of challenger bank Shawbrook, have been given the go ahead by the EU to proceed with their offer.

The European Commission's merger team did not have any objection to the proposed £842m acquisition, which has not been accepted by Shawbrook's board.

The consortium have until Monday to up the offer, or let it run to its mid-June deadline. City A.M. understands that no discussions are currently underway with Shawbrook to increase the offer price.

Yet Pollen Street and BC are creeping further towards the 50 per cent plus one takeover threshold, boosted by the 38.9 per cent stake which Pollen Street already owned.

Certain shareholders have already accepted the consortium's offer, despite the recommendations of Shawbrook's board, bringing BC and Pollen Street's combined stake to around 46 per cent.

This is the second bid which the consortium have made for Shawbrook. The first, at the same price of 330p per share, was under a scheme of arrangement structure which would have left Shawbrook in charge of the process.

Read more: Shawbrook urges investors to sit tight after an £825m takeover offer

By structuring their second offer as a takeover bid, BC and Pollen Street are appealing directly to the shareholders.

Shawbrook, which specialises in lending to small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals, is currently trading at 344.5p per share.

Pollen Street, which invests in the financial sector, announced earlier this week that it would acquire asset manager MW Eaglewood.

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