Market Tracker weekly bulletin – 14 March 2019

Market Tracker weekly bulletin – 14 March 2019

A round up of key developments in corporate transactions covered by Lexis®PSL Corporate and Market Tracker this week, including an update on Non-Financial Standard’s hostile offer for Provident Financial, the post-IPO performance of Funding Circle, a look at the biggest law firm IPO on the LSE to date, coverage of the competitive bids for plastics group RPC and analysis of recent developments in gender diversity.


Non-Financial Standard push ahead with hostile bid for Provident Financial

On 22 February 2019, Non-Financial Standard (NFS) made an unsolicited all-share offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of rival company Provident Financial plc (Provident). The all-share offer is valued at £1.3 billion. On 25 February 2019, Provident announced its ‘disappointment’ at NFS’ unsolicited ‘highly opportunistic approach’, and its decision not to engage with the board prior to the announcement.

On 7 March, Philip Salter, director of retail lending at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), wrote a letter to NFS’ group chief executive and founder, John Van Kuffeler, outlining ‘the regulatory position on standards in the market and the considerations the FCA would apply to any transformation plans’. In its letter, the FCA warned NFS that ‘any changes to the business model of Provident will need to be consistent with our expectations of a firm satisfying FCA threshold conditions and our requirements relating to the provision of high-cost credit.’

Mr Salter confirmed that ‘any change in controls or a shift in culture towards one that is driven by profits and incentives at the cost of good customer outcomes resulting in unaffordable lending will be something we act on immediately’.

Provident restated that shareholders should not take any action and listed a number of issues that they considered that NFS had not yet addressed.

Despite the rejection of the offer by Provident’s board, 29.9% of non-director shareholders have given semi-hard irrevocable undertakings and letters of intent to

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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.