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BCA Marketplace accepts take-private offer from TDR Capital

Private equity house has offered 243p per share for the owner, valuing it at just under £2bn
The deal has received support from BCA shareholders holding 44% of the shares

BCA Marketplace PLC (LON:BCA) has agreed to a £1.9bn take-private offer from private equity house TDR Capital.

TDR has offered 243p per share for the owner, a premium of about 25% to the closing price the day before the talks were confirmed last Thursday and 30% to the average price for the preceding month.

BCA directors, a year after they rejected an approach by Apax Partners, recommended that shareholders accept the deal, with support also coming from an irrevocable pledge by BCA shareholders holding 43% of the shares.

“The offer from TDR gives shareholders the opportunity to receive cash at a significant premium to the prevailing share price and will allow BCA to develop its business as a private, unlisted company,” said the BCA board, which took advice from Jefferies and Goldman Sachs, which would both hope to enjoy tasty fees from a deal.

BCA also announced results for the year to 31 March on Wednesday, with revenue up 24.5% year on year to £3.0bn, operating profit increasing 14.4% to £100.2mln and a final dividend of 6.65p per share.

The dividend is due to be paid to shareholders on the register around 20 September, with the final date yet to be finalised, but if the takeover concludes after the dividend payment then the offer price will be reduced by 6.65p per share.

Avril windfall

The take-private deal will mean a windfall for BCA executive chair Avril Palmer-Baunack, who is likely to pocket £16.52mln from the 6.8mln shares she owns - though this pales in comparison with the £29mln she was paid in bonuses last year.

It may come as a less pleasant surprise to some investors, including prominent fund manager Crispin Odey.

Odey trumpeted his opinion earlier this week that he did not expect TDR to come through and formalise the BCA offer, and was positioning his Odey Asset Management fund to profit by building a short position in the car auction company’s shares.

BCA shares were up 2% to 241.8p in early trading on Wednesday.

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