Friday 12 April 2019 9:24 am

Provident Financial blasts Non-Standard Finance over failure to respond to concerns

Doorstep lender Provident Financial said today it remains “gravely concerned” that Non-Standard Finance (NSF) has failed to respond to questions it raised in relation to NSF’s takeover bid.

NSF made a £1.3bn offer for struggling sub-prime lender Provident in February that was rejected by the company, but has continued its pursuit despite opposition from Provident’s board.

Read more: Provident Financial questions Non-Standard Finance's dividend payments

Provident said today it had still not received satisfactory responses to questions it asked on 2 April about NSF’s historical dividend payments and share buybacks and its offer for Provident's business.

"The Provident board remains gravely concerned by NSF's failure to respond to the material outstanding questions," it said in a statement to the stock market.

“Provident shareholders deserve clarity to enable them to make an informed decision on the merits, or otherwise, of the offer,” it added.

"The Provident board continues to have significant concerns about the offer, not least because NSF has repeatedly made pre-tax losses on a statutory basis, its share price is near an all-time low, and it would opportunistically benefit from the relative financial strength of Provident,” it said.

Read more: Provident puts up staunch defence against 'risky and flawed' £1.3bn bid

“The terms of the offer remain highly unattractive for Provident shareholders,” it said.

It said the offer, based on NSF’s latest share price, values each Provident share at 449p, which it said was a 13.9 per cent discount to the latest Provident share price.

Provident has gone through some turbulent times recently which have included profit warnings, a plunging share price and regulatory fines.

A spokesperson for NSF said: "We note the Provident Financial statement this morning and will make a further announcement, if appropriate, in due course.”