Hedin Group withdraws offer to buy Pendragon

  • Swedish firm withdraws offer due to ‘challenging market conditions’
  • Pendragon had extended ‘put-up or shut-up’ offer to today
  • ‘This process has highlighted the value of Pendragon’ says firm
  • Could the door now be open for other rival bids?

Time 8:47 am, December 9, 2022

Hedin Group has withdrawn its offer to buy car dealer group Pendragon due to ‘challenging market conditions’.

Making the announcement this morning (Dec 9) on the London Stock Exchange, the Swedish firm said a risky economic picture had led it to pull out from making a final offer.

‘Given the challenging market conditions and uncertain economic outlook, Hedin confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Pendragon,’ the statement said.

On September 26, Hedin Group has made a preliminary and conditional cash offer for Pendragon at 29p per share.

Pendragon granted two extension deadlines, the latest being on November 21.

That ‘put-up to shut-up’ deal deadline was due to expire at 5pm today (Dec 9).

At the time of that extension, rumours were circulating Constellation Automotive Group could enter the race to swoop on Pendragon, as reported by Car Dealer.

The Sunday Telegraph reported Constellation was squaring up to Hedin’s offer and was weighing up a rival bid.

However, the paper suggested the £400m deal with Hedin was as good as done.

Making its announcement to the London Stock Exchange this morning, Pendragon said: ‘The board of Pendragon… notes the announcement released today by Hedin Group… that it does not intend to make an offer for Pendragon due to challenging market conditions and the uncertain economic outlook.

‘The board remains confident about the long-term prospects of Pendragon.

‘This process has highlighted the value of Pendragon and the board will continue to explore opportunities to maximise value for its shareholders.

‘As announced on 25 October 2022, there is a clear path to deliver the strategy to transform automotive retail through digital innovation and operational excellence.

‘The economic backdrop remains challenging, however the Board continues to expect to deliver group underlying profit before tax in line with expectations for the current financial year.’

Pendragon – which operates the Stratstone, Evans Halshaw and Car Store brands and owns the software firm Pinewood – was the third most profitable car dealer in the Car Dealer Top 100.

Pendragon recently revealed a pre-tax profit of £14.7m in the third quarter and said it was on course to meet full-year expectations.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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