Insurer Hastings’ share price surged this morning after agreeing a £1.66bn takeover by Finland’s Sampo and South Africa’s Rand Merchant Investment.
The cash offer will hand Hastings investors 250p per share as well as an interim dividend of 4.5p per share.
That sent Hastings’ shares soaring 17 per cent higher to 253p in early trading.
Sampo told investors the acquisition will help it expand beyond life insurance and outside of Nordic markets.
The pair’s offer represents a 37.5 per cent premium on Hastings’ average share price for the for the three months to the end of July.
Hastings also reported a jump in profit and revenue in the first half of 2020 today.
Hastings’ profit after tax leapt 43.4 per cent to £54.8m in the six months to 30 June, compared to the same period the year before.
Adjusted operating profit jumped 23.8 per cent year on year to £78.3m. And net revenue climbed 5.7 per cent year on year to £392.7m.
Earnings per share benefited from the profit boost, surging 43.1 per cent to 8.3p. And Hastings said it would pay an interim dividend of 4.5p per share.
What Hastings said
Chief executive Toby van der Meer said: “The group’s independent directors and the directors of Dorset Bidco Limited, a consortium comprising Sampo Oyj (‘Sampo’) and Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Limited (‘RMI’), have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer to acquire the issued and to be issued share capital of Hastings, not already owned or controlled by Sampo and RMI. The offer will be subject to shareholder approval and the receipt of regulatory and antitrust approvals.
“In regards to the business’ performance for the first half of 2020, I am immensely proud of how the Hastings team has adapted and responded to Covid-19 to make sure we continue to do the right thing. We have taken support measures and actions amounting to tens of millions of pounds during the pandemic, focussed on our colleagues, customers and our local communities.
“We continue to make great progress on our strategic initiatives towards our vision, including our digital investments, with even more customers now using our online services and 950,000 downloads of our mobile app. Underlying business performance continues to be strong.”