Hedin performs U-turn and now won’t block rival bids for Pendragon

  • Abrupt about-turn by Hedin means it won’t stand in way of rival bids for Pendragon
  • Any bid has to be not less than 35p per share though
  • Hedin also expressed surprise at Pendragon’s announcement of it conducting a review

Time 7:32 am, September 29, 2022

Hedin Group has performed a U-turn and now won’t block any rival bids for Pendragon.

A statement issued to the London Stock Exchange at the close of trading yesterday (Sept 28) by the Swedish investor said he reserved the right to withdraw his pledge to block any other buy-out approach ‘in the event that a third party announces a firm offer for Pendragon at a price not less than 35p per Pendragon share’.

It marks an about turn by Anders Hedin, 55, who earlier this week declared he would block any rival bid for the UK listed car dealer group.

Hedin holds a 27.5 per cent stake in Pendragon and last week launched a takeover bid at 29p per share, valuing Pendragon at £405m.

The latest statement by Hedin primarily focused on its ‘surprise’ that Pendragon revealed on Sept 27 it was conducting a review of its operations in light of Hedin’s buy-out approach.

In that announcement by Pendragon, it said it noted Hedin’s intention not to keep its Pinewood dealer management system within its portfolio of brands and would seek to sell it off.

However, in yesterday’s statement by Hedin, it said: ‘Hedin Mobility Group AB notes the announcement by the board of Pendragon on September 27, 2022 that it is conducting a review of potential strategic options for Pendragon.

‘Hedin Mobility was surprised by the announcement which seems to contradict the long-term view of the Pendragon board that Pinewood continues to be a fundamental aspect of Pendragon’s strategy, which was reiterated to Hedin Mobility by Pendragon as recently as September 25, 2022.

‘In light of this radical change of direction from the Pendragon Board, Hedin Mobility is considering its position in relation to its current shareholding’

The statement went on to include Hedin’s U-turn on blocking any rival approaches for Pendragon.

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

Pendragon includes the Evans Halshaw and Stratstone names and runs around 160 showrooms in the UK.

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

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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