Sunday 2 June 2019 7:16 pm

Aberdeen Standard opposes Non-Standard Finance's hostile Provident Financial takeover

A major shareholder in Provident Financial has come out to publicly oppose rival doorstep lender Non-Standard Finance’s (NSF) hostile takeover bid.

Aberdeen Standard Investments, which owns 3.1 per cent of the sub-prime lender, said it would not accept NSF’s offer.

Read more: Watchdog probes Non-Standard Finance's hostile takeover of Provident

Head of UK equities Andrew Millington said: “As a long-term shareholder in Provident Financial, we intend not to accept NSF’s offer for the business. We understand why some investors who hold shares in both Provident Financial and NSF are supportive of the takeover. But ultimately we don’t believe it’s a good deal for the business nor Provident Financial shareholders.

“We’re also unhappy that NSF has brought forward the deadline for shareholders to accept the bid to next week before the CMA releases the outcome of its review.”

His comments, which were first reported by the Sunday Times, come ahead of a Wednesday deadline for the offer to become unconditional.

Read more: Schroders holds firm against Non-Standard Finance's Provident takeover bid

NSF has the support of investors representing 53.5 per cent of shares, including fund manager Neil Woodford and asset manager Invesco.

However, there is significant opposition NSF’s bid with fund managers Schroders, Coltrane and M&G Investments all coming out publicly against the deal.

Last week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had launched a merger inquiry into the deal to investigate whether it could create a “substantial lessening of competition” in the market.

NSF has already proposed a demerger of its Loans at Home business to avoid competition in the home credit market.

Provident said the uncertain outcome of the investigation leaves shareholders “exposed to a potential unknown and uncosted remedy”.

NSF declined to comment.