Non-Standard Finance (NSF) has hit out at the management of Provident Financial, accusing it of “scaremongering” in a bid to fend off a hostile takeover.
NSF, which launched the £1.3bn bid in February, today accused Provident of going “to great lengths to deflect attention from its flawed strategy, regulatory breaches, broken promises and underwhelming financial performance.”
However, Provident said this morning the bid, which is due to expire next Wednesday, is nowhere near its target of winning round investors who hold 90 per cent of shares.
In fact, Provident said, the offer has barely improved on the 51 per cent support it had when first announced.
Provident said it has held constructive meetings with investors who own 36 per cent of the company’s shares.
The firm said that 96 per cent of the shares held by independent investors have not yet signed up to the bid. On Wednesday it’s third-largest shareholder, Schroders, said it was rejecting the offer.
NSF’s bid has been extended after the original 8 May deadline. It has said it will not extend again.
It was spearheaded by John van Kuffeler, the NSF boss and who founded the company in 2014 after being chief executive and later chair of Provident for 22 years.
The hostile takeover has become increasingly tense as the final deadline quickly approaches.
Yesterday Provident questioned whether NSF had the financial resources needed to complete the deal.
It said NSF was facing “significant headwinds” and claimed a review from the Competition Markets Authority would create risks which shareholders should avoid.
NSF said today the claims about the financial aspects of the deal were “completely unfounded: based on false premises, founded on incorrect assumptions and, in our view, designed to provoke doubt and fear amongst Provident shareholders.”