Sanne Group rejects £1.3bn takeover offer by Cinven

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Sanne Group PLC (LON:SNN) has rejected a takeover offer by private equity firm Cinven which valued the company at £1.3bn.

The provider of asset management services shared a statement made by Cinven where it confirmed media speculation that the proposal was made on 4 May.

READ: UDG Healthcare agrees £2.6bn private equity offer

Shareholders were offered 830p per share, a 22% premium to the previous closing price, with the possibility to still receive the final dividend of 9.9p declared on 19 March.

However, the FTSE 250 group rejected the proposal on Wednesday, so Cinven is now considering its position.

It now has to make another offer or withdraw its interest by 11 June based on City regulation.

Sanne isn’t new to the private equity world, having floated in London in 2015 after spinning out from Inflexion.

Its market capitalisation was £230mln then and has since soared to £977mln based on Thursday’s closing price.

Several UK-listed companies have been approached by private equities as analysts say they are cheaper compared to peers listed elsewhere.

Earlier this month, UDG Healthcare PLC (LON:UDG) recommended its shareholders vote in favour of a £2.6bn cash offer put forward by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, while St. Modwen Properties PLC (LON:SMP) received a bid from Blackstone that valued the FTSE 250 group at about £1.2bn.

“There have been rumblings that the UK could be on the brink of an M&A wave for a while, with uncertainty around Brexit lifting and valuations still depressed compared to American peers. However, this offer for Sanne is the first evidence we’ve seen of that in our coverage list,” analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown said.

“The offer from Cinven represents a healthy 38% premium to the closing price last night, and might usually have been seen as pretty tempting. However, the shares were trading at that price on the market four years ago and the board clearly think the business is worth more. The market though is less sure. The shares are trading at 763p this morning, some way below the offer price and an indication that investors think there’s a strong chance Cinven will walk away from the deal without improving its offer.”

Shares soared 27% to 764.32p on Friday morning.

–Adds analyst comment, shares–

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