Hedin Mobility Group has sold all its shares in Pendragon after pulling out of takeover battle

  • Swedish outfit had tried to buy UK dealer business alone and then as part of alliance
  • It eventually gave up the fight and US dealer group Lithia took over
  • Hedin says it sold the equivalent of 385m shares between November and February
  • Net proceeds totalled 1.69bn Swedish krona (circa £128.4m)

Time 2:57 pm, February 12, 2024

Hedin Mobility Group has sold the last of its shareholdings in Pendragon, having pulled out of the fight to buy the dealer outfit.

The Swedish car dealer business, led by Anders Hedin, made a brief announcement this afternoon to say that it offloaded the equivalent of 385m shares in Pendragon between last November and this month.

A total of 132m of them were sold during last year’s fourth quarter alone.

The shares were sold at a volume weighted average price of 0.335p per share, which the Hedin group said had netted it a total of 1.69bn Swedish krona (circa £128,371,391).

The anticipated result from the sales amounted to 290m Swedish krona (£22.03m) in the fourth quarter of 2023 with another 90m Swedish krona (£6.84m) during the first quarter of 2024.

Car Dealer was also told that the net result (profit) during the holding period 2021-2024, combining income from associated companies and the gain in the sale of the shares, was about 700m Swedish krona (£53.166m).

Hedin was a 26% shareholder in Pendragon and originally launched an ultimately abortive solo bid to buy Pendragon in 2022 after previously blocking eventual winner Lithia’s bid to buy the firm.

It then formed an alliance with Penske Automotive Group and offered 28p per share, which was rejected last September. The offer was then upped to 32p per share but the duo subsequently announced in October that they were pulling out of the race.

A third American car dealer group, AutoNation, also offered 32p per share, but both theirs and Hedin/Penske’s offers were subject to conditions, and AutoNation also subsequently lost interest, leaving Lithia to take over in a £397m deal that was completed at the end of last month.

Lithia has taken took over Pendragon’s dealerships and leasing division, with Pendragon’s dealer management software arm Pinewood hived off to take Pendragon’s place on the London Stock Exchange and Pendragon renamed Pinewood Technologies Group, led by Bill Berman.

Following the shares divestment, Hedin says it won’t be receiving the anticipated extraordinary dividend from Pendragon.

Hedin bought the Stephen James Group in a deal announced last July, and expanded further in the UK in December with the acquisition of Luton-based alloy wheel refurbishment specialist RRT.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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