Severn Trent’s shareholders back bid rebuff

Suzie Neuwirth
A NUMBER of shareholders have backed Severn Trent’s rejection of a third takeover offer of £5.2bn, despite the bidding consortium threatening to walk away from the deal yesterday.

It is understood that some shareholders believe that the FTSE 100-listed utility firm acted in their best interests by rejecting the revised bid of 2,200p per share, as it is still not fair value.

They have argued that 2,300p per share would be a sensible level, due to the increasing scarcity of coveted utility assets in the UK.

LongRiver Partners – comprising Borealis, the Kuwait Investment Office and the Universities Superannuation Scheme – have until today’s put-up-or-shut-up deadline to make a final bid.

Michael Rolland, president and chief executive of Borealis, said yesterday that Severn Trent had not engaged in talks with the consortium since 14 May and that without further talks there would not be another offer.

Deutsche Bank and RBC Capital Markets are acting as financial advisers to the consortium.

Shares in Severn Trent closed six per cent down yesterday.