Cambria Automobiles has agreed to a cash offer of some £80m from its chief executive Mark Lavery to buy the listed dealer group and take it private, it was revealed this afternoon (Jun 9).
In an announcement issued via the London Stock Exchange, Cambria Automobiles said his cash offer of 80p per share would be put to shareholders with a unanimous recommendation that they accept it.
It needs to be passed by a majority holding at least 75 per cent of the share value, but is expected to come into effect in the third quarter of 2021.
An independent committee of Cambria directors and Lavery, who is the sole director of the newly formed limited company Cambria Bidco, struck the deal after the committee’s financial adviser Rothschild & Co called the offer ‘fair and reasonable’.
Lavery said today: ‘I am pleased that the independent committee has unanimously recommended the cash offer.
‘I am proud of the excellent job that has been done by the team over the last 11 years since Cambria’s IPO to substantially transform the business, but these achievements have not been reflected in the equity market’s valuation or perception of Cambria.
‘I am mindful of a rapid period of change for the industry and that there may be headwinds ahead, but I look forward to capitalising on the growth opportunities ahead, and creating value for customers, employees and brand partners under private ownership.’
Philip Swatman, chairman of Cambria and a member of the independent committee, said: ‘Cambria has successfully executed a strategy over the last 11 years of public ownership.
‘However, while Cambria has demonstrated considerable resilience, significant business uncertainties continue to persist in the near and medium term for a company of our relative size.
‘In recommending the cash offer to the Cambria shareholders, the independent committee believe it is in the best interests of all stakeholders, enabling them to realise significant and immediate value, whilst enabling the long-term success of the business.
‘Therefore, the independent committee are unanimously recommending the cash offer.’
Lavery emerged as the sole party to buy Cambria three weeks ago after fellow directors James Mullins and Tim Duckers dropped out of the race because of ‘technical considerations’.
Its share price dipped slightly to 82.5p – down by 0.6 per cent – on today’s news.
Last month, Cambria, which was established in 2006, revealed that it made nearly £9.7m pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of February – a rise of more than half – helped by nearly £2.5m of government cash.
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.