Pendragon's Stratstone armPendragon's Stratstone arm


Hedin and car dealer group Pendragon granted more time to discuss takeover bid

  • Announcement to Stock Market reveals due diligence work has begun
  • Hedin now has until November 21 to make a firm bid for car dealer group
  • Swedish firm has offered 29p per share for listed Pendragon

Time 7:53 am, October 24, 2022

Discussions between Pendragon and Hedin Group about a takeover are still ongoing, the listed car dealer has revealed.

In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange this morning – the release of which was agreed in advance with Hedin – Pendragon said it had allowed the bidder to begin its necessary due diligence.

Hedin made an indicative bid of 29 pence per share for Pendragon on September 26. 

It has now been granted an extension on when its final decision needs to made to make a firm offer for Pendragon of November 21 at 5pm.

‘Discussions between the parties are ongoing and the board of Pendragon has granted Hedin Group access to complete its necessary due diligence,’ said the RNS.

‘There can be no certainty that a firm offer will be made. A further announcement will be made in due course.’

The bid from Hedin Group, led by Anders Hedin, 55, values Pendragon at around £400m.

Hedin already owns 26 per cent of Pendragon and recently blocked a takeover bid from Lithia Motors, a US car dealership firm that was tabled in the summer.

The 29p per share offer from Hedin was the same as Lithia’s.

Shares in Pendragon were trading at 26.4p this morning.

The move could see former CEO Trevor Finn return to the fold as he joined the Hedin board as a non executive director in January 2021.

Hedin operates 200 dealerships in Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland via its Hedin Bil subsidiary.

Cyber attack

On Friday, it was revealed that Pendragon was under attack by cyber criminals who were holding the dealer group ransom.

Hackers wanted the group to pay £54m in Bitcoin or it was threatening to release sensitive data it had acquired on its customer database.

The company’s chief marketing officer, Kim Costello, told The Times: ‘We refuse to be held hostage by this group and we will not be paying a ransom demand.’

In September, Pendragon revealed its underlying pre-tax profit fell slightly to £33.5m in the first half of 2022.

Despite the dip, the Car Dealer Top 100 outfit saw revenues rise and margins improve during a strong start to the year.

Group revenue totalled £1.85bn in the six months to June 30, a 1.6 per cent improvement on the same period in 2021.

Despite that, the firm’s underlying pre-tax profit took a 4.6 per cent hit, falling from £35.1m in H1 2021 to £33.5m in the first half of this year.

The group also said it was in ‘advanced discussions’ to be the lead partner for new Chinese brand BYD.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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