UK wholesaler Londis has received a £63m (US$116.1m) cash and shares offer for the company less than two weeks before shareholders are due to vote on a recommended £60m offer from Ireland’s Musgrave.
The latest bid came from Lancelot, a management buy-in vehicle consisting of two former executives of T&S Stores backed by Icelandic bank Kaupthing. The cash and shares offer is for a 40% stake in Londis, with the remainder staying in the hands of shareholders, reported the Financial Times. The offer values Londis at £3m more than Musgrave’s offer.
Many Londis shareholders had been trying to encourage a minority offer for the company rather than the outright sale to Musgrave recommended by the Londis board. But some said Lancelot’s offer was too late.
“We still support the Musgrave offer. Londis has lost 80-100 members since Christmas when this all started and we could lose more if the uncertainty continues,” Kishor Patel, chairman of the Londis Shareholders Action Group, was quoted by the FT as saying.
Shamus Lehal, the head of another shareholder action group, said the offer was not enough.
“I think it is trying to get 26% support to kill off the Musgrave offer and then come in later to scoop up a deal. Musgrave has got to be the way forward unless Lancelot comes in with a much higher offer,” Lehal said.