Monday 13 May 2019 3:21 pm

Non-Standard Finance confident of winning competition watchdog approval for £1.3bn Provident bid

Non-Standard Finance said it expected to alleviate the competition watchdog’s concerns over its proposed £1.3bn hostile takeover of rival subprime lender Provident.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into the potential deal in February and prevented NSF from taking steps to integrate the two businesses.

Read more: Sparks fly as Provident accused of 'scaremongering' over hostile bid

Provident shareholders have until Wednesday to decide whether to accept the hostile takeover bid.

However, investors will have to make that decision without any provisional CMA findings, after NSF confirmed it was still yet to make a filing with the watchdog.

NSF said the CMA’s concerns would be limited to home credit but that its proposed demerger of its own Loans at Home business would eradicate those concerns and enable agreement to be reached.

Provident said the delay meant shareholders couldn’t possibly make an “informed decision” on the offer.

NSF had support from 50.7 per cent of Provident shareholders when it launched its hostile bid in February – including Neil Woodford, Invesco Asset Management and Marathon Asset Management.

The trio also hold a stake in Non-Standard Finance.

But the subprime lender has since been unable to convince any other investors to support its case.

Provident’s third-largest shareholder Schroders refused to support NSF’s bid last week as it was not in the best interests of shareholders.

Read more: Provident boosted as Schroders reject Non-Standard Finance hostile takeover

The UK fund manager, which holds a 14.6 per cent stake in Provident, raised concerns that the rights of minority shareholders were “not being protected.”

In another blow for NSF, US hedge fund Coltrane Asset Management is also set to reject the hostile takeover bid, it emerged over the weekend.