One of Europe’s biggest car sellers has been thwarted in its £400m bid to takeover the UK’s second largest car dealership, Pendragon.
The board of Pendragon rejected Hedin Group’s £400m takeover bid, after the Swedish conglomerate put forward a secret offer of 28p a share, according to Sky News.
As Pendragon’s largest shareholder, Hedin Group, which operates more than 200 car showrooms throughout Europe in Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, has been a vocal critic of the UK car dealership’s management.
Hedin Group last year voted against Pendragon’s plans to give a £413,000 bonus to its chief executive Bill Berman, after describing the move as “out-of-tune”.
The comments came after the Nottinghamshire headquartered car seller, which owns more than 150 dealerships across the UK, accepted millions of pounds in furlough payments from the government.
A Hedin takeover could see Pendragon’s founder Trevor Finn make a return to the British firm, after he joined Hedin’s board having been ousted from the London-listed firm in 2019.
Shares in Pendragon have rebounded 25 per cent over the previous year, after the firm cut 1,800 jobs and closed 15 of its dealerships. Pendragon shares are currently trading at around 21.7p.
In December, Pendragon upgraded its profit guidance after stating that its underlying pre-tax profit would be in the region of £80m, compared to previous guidance of £70m.