Pendragon rejects £392m joint takeover bid

Pendragon, the Nottingham-based car retail giant which operates the Evans Halshaw and Strastone brands, has rejected a £392m takeover joint bid from it largest shareholder Hedin and US-based PAG International.

The news comes days after a the firm’s motor and leasing businesses were subject to a £280m bid from Lithia UK Holding Limited, a subsidiary of Lithia Motors.

The joint bid was comprised of a 28p per share offer.

On Monday (September 18), Pendragon and US-based Lithia Motors agreed the terms of a strategic partnership with Lithia, including the rollout of Pinewood, the company’s dealer management software (DMS) business, to Lithia’s existing 50 UK sites and the creation of a joint venture to accelerate Pinewood’s entry into the North American DMS market

Pinewood would become a standalone entity, retaining Pendragon’s existing listing on the London Stock Exchange. Pendragon would change its name to Pinewood Technologies and be led by Bill Berman as CEO and Oliver Mann as CFO.

Shareholders would receive around 27.4p for every share they hold as part of the deal.

A statement from Pendragon said: “The board carefully considered the proposal, including taking advice from its advisers, and concluded that it fundamentally undervalues the company and is therefore not in the best interests of shareholders or other stakeholders.

The board is excited about the future prospects for Pendragon as a result of the transaction announced with Lithia Motor on 18 September 2023, which, if completed, will deliver a substantial cash dividend and create a pure play Software as a Service business with an accelerated growth plan and a strategic partnership to enter North America.”