Victorious private equity consortium wins shareholder approval to take over Shawbrook bank

Lucy White
Pennsylvania 500 Practice
The deal has been approved (Source: Getty)

The private equity consortium which launched a drawn-out takeover attempt of Shawbrook bank has finally emerged victorious, passing the shareholder acceptance threshold for its offer.

BC Partners and Pollen Street Capital have walked away with a total of 75.6 per cent of Shawbrook's shares – well over the 50 per cent they needed to win the bid, and even slightly over the 75 per cent needed to take the challenger bank private.

Any remaining shareholders may now tender their shares by 10 July, or continue as a private minority shareholder.

The takeover coincided oddly with news released by Shawbrook yesterday that it plans to double its workforce over the next four years, taking on the services of recruitment outsourcer Cielo.

BC and Pollen Street's acquisition was nail-biting until the end, as the consortium announced last Friday that they held just 46.6 per cent of shares.

The final bid of 340p per share, which was raised from 330p, valued the business at £868m.

Both offers were dismissed by Shawbrook's board, who maintained that it undervalued their bank.

"We believe we can continue to grow prudently ... generating significant value for our shareholders over and above that implied in the current offer," said Steve Pateman, the lender's chief executive, in May.

Previous talks between the private equity buyers and Shawbrook's board, in which BC and Pollen Street tried to get the board onside rather than approaching the shareholders directly, had fallen through for the same reason.

The deal comes soon after Pollen Street, which spun out of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in 2013, announced a takeover of asset manager MW Eaglewood, creating one of Europe's largest investment managers focused on specialist lending.

As well as its private equity business, Pollen Street also manages the Honeycomb Investment Trust which acquires loans made to consumers and small businesses.

BC Partners is most well-known in the UK as the owner of Côte restaurants, having bought the chain in 2015.

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