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On 22 July 2020, HWSIL Realisation Fund announced that it had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended all-cash offer to be made by US incorporated Cubitt Trade Holdings LLC (Bidco) (a wholly owned subsidiary of the PETRA Group).
At 55.5 pence per share, the offer values HWSIL at £79.64 million, a 91.38% premium to the closing price of 29 pence as of 21 July 2020 (although an 11% discount to the net asset value of the fund). The announcement saw HWSIL’s shares skyrocket almost 90%, closing at 54.75 pence on 22 July.
HWSIL announced the winding the down of the fund in February this year, following a strategic review in December after it had suffered losses due to underlying loans.
David Warr, Chair of HWSIL has said the following regarding the offer:
‘Following HWSIL entering into managed wind-down earlier this year, it was expected that cash would be returned to HWSIL Shareholders as loans matured or were realised. The offer provides HWSIL Shareholders with a cash alternative at an attractive value in a significantly shorter timeframe than possible under a managed wind-down. It eliminates any risks associated with an ongoing exposure to HWSIL's portfolio and any challenges associated with managing HWSIL during the latter stages of the managed wind-down process. In aggregate, with the 19 pence per HWSIL Share returned to HWSIL Shareholders in April 2020, the offer will result in HWSIL Shareholders having received 74.5 pence per Share since HWSIL adopted a managed wind-down strategy and will provide a clean exit for HWSIL Shareholders through a single transaction.’
Economic uncertainty due to COVID-19 saw public M&A deal volume depressed during H1 2020, with a total of only 12 firm offers announced, of which only 1 firm offer each was announced in May and April (with 2 firm offers announced in June). However, it appears as restrictions ease and everyone settles into the ‘new normal’, investor confidence may be on an upward curve, with 3 firm offers already announced in the first 3 weeks of July, representing an increase from the last 3 months and a quarter of all firm offers announced in H1.
For more on deal activity and trends in H1 2020, see our H1 public M&A Trend Report. Market tracker will continue to monitor these trends as they develop.
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Market Tracker is a unique service for corporate lawyers housed within Lexis®PSL Corporate. It features a powerful transaction data analysis tool for accessing, analysing and comparing the specific features of corporate transactions, with a comprehensive and searchable library of deal documentation across 14 different deal types. The Market Tracker product also includes news and analysis of key corporate deals and activity and in-depth analysis of recent trends in corporate transactions.
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