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Provident trumpets Schroders opposition to NSF offer

In a statement last Friday, Schroders’ fund manager Kevin Murphy said that it was in the best interests of the Provvie's shareholders to reject the hostile offer

Provident building
NSF has been backed in its takeover efforts by three of Provident’s major shareholders, Woodford, Invesco and Marathon

Provident Financial PLC (LON:PFG) has pointed to comments made by a fund manager at Schroders, one of its largest shareholders, in another attempt to discourage more of its investors from voting for a hostile takeover bid by rival Non-Standard Finance PLC (LON:NSF).

In a statement last Friday, Schroders’ Kevin Murphy said that the asset manager, which has a 14.6% stake in FTSE 250 Provident, remained of the view that it was in the best interests of shareholders which were not also NSF investors to reject the hostile offer.

READ: NSF to push ahead with hostile bid for Provident Financial despite only securing slim majority

Schroders had previously stated its opposition to NSF’s bid earlier in May, saying the hostile takeover risked “destabilising” Provident’s recovery from a series of regulatory fines and profit warnings that rocked it last year.

NSF, which is headed by Provident’s ex-boss John Van Kuffeler, lodged the takeover bid earlier this year and has since been engaged in a war of words with the ‘Provvie’ over both its future and the record of its current board.

NSF has been backed in its takeover efforts by three of Provident’s major shareholders, Woodford, Invesco and Marathon, which collectively control just over 51% of the company’s shares and are also major investors in NSF.

Last Wednesday, NSF said it had received unconditional acceptances for its bid representing 53.53% of the Provvie’s shareholders and would push ahead with the takeover despite the slim majority.

In early trading on Friday, Provident’s shares were up 0.2% at 480.7p.

Quick facts: Provident Financial

Price: 425 GBX

LSE:PFG
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.08 billion
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