Talks to take listed dealer group Cambria Automobiles private and off the Stock Market are continuing.
Mark Lavery, chief executive officer, has emerged as the sole party leading an offer for the firm.
Fellow directors James Mullins and Tim Duckers have dropped out of the race due to ‘technical considerations’.
The trio announced in March that they were in discussions about a possible acquisition, but now only Lavery – or an entity controlled by him – is hoping to move forward.
‘Such an offer, were it to be made, would be at a price of 80 pence in cash per Cambria share, which the board of Cambria would be minded to recommend,’ said the company in an announcement to the London Stock Exchange this morning.
Cambria Automobile shares are currently trading at 83.5p. In July, they were nearly half that at 45p.
In April the company confirmed a ‘put up or shut up’ deadline had been extended until today to allow discussions to continue.
Cambria added: ‘The technical considerations arising from these discussions have led the parties to conclude that any offer, if made, would be made solely by Mark Lavery or an entity controlled by him.
‘James Mullins and Tim Duckers will continue in their current management roles with the company, working alongside Mr Lavery, regardless of the outcome of the possible offer.
‘Discussions between the management offeror and the company are ongoing.’
Mike Jones, compiler of the Car Dealer Top 100 and an automotive consultant specialising in finance, said the price offered may prove a stumbling block.
He said: ‘The extension of the offer shows that there is clearly something worth talking about as, if the offer had been dismissed out of hand, there would be no reason for an extension.
‘It is also notable that the price hasn’t changed from the initial 80p per share, with the company currently trading above that level, showing that a number of investors are either betting that the transaction will not win approval, or that the price will be raised in order to seal the deal.’
Two weeks ago, Cambria reported on its half year results which revealed its pre-tax profit increased by more than half to over £9.6m during the six months to the end of February.
Its half-year EBITDA rose by 32 per cent from £9.908m to £13.076m. Its latest available full-year EBITDA of £17.08m put it at 14th in our inaugural list of the UK’s Top 100 most profitable dealers.