Omega rejects Mark Byrne’s reduced offer

David Hellier
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THE INSURANCE group Omega yesterday rejected a reduced tender offer from entrepreneur Mark Byrne, warning that it would also take action to protect its interests.

Byrne recently lapsed an offer to buy up to 25 per cent of the shares in the group at a price of 83p each, claiming that regulatory clearances he needed to cement the offer had not been granted. The move has infuriated shareholders who had agreed to accept the offer and embarrassed the Omega board, who preferred the proposal above a full takeover from Canopius.

Byrne has since come back with an offer for 25 per cent of Omega shares, but at a reduced price of 74p.

Yesterday Omega’s board said it was not supportive of the revised proposal or of any engagement with Byrne over the offer. Last week Omega’s chief executive Richard Pexton pulled out of a meeting with Byrne at short notice as relations between the two sides grew frosty.

Omega said it refuted Byrne’s claims about its financial position and noted that he had not claimed that the material adverse change clause in the offer document was triggered.

Byrne has intimated that he no longer wants to keep Pexton on staff if his bid for management control of the group succeeds.

Below: how we reported the Omega row