Senior shares shrug higher on fifth bid from US private equity group

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Senior PLC (LON:SNR), the aerospace engineer, has received a fifth cash offer from private equity group Lone Star.


Put out a statement on Monday saying it has offered 200p per share and that it will be its final proposal.


“The fifth proposal is subject to a number of customary pre-conditions, including the satisfactory completion of due diligence,” said the US firm, which is in the process of buying retirement home builder McCarthy & Stone PLC and was in the running to buy Asda last year.


Lone Star said this proposal represents a premium of roughly 69% to Senior’s closing price of 118.3p per share on 27 May, which was the last closing price before the potential offer was made public on 28 May.


Senior’s said on that date that the proposed 176p offer at that time “fundamentally undervalued Senior and its future prospects” and so the board unanimously rejected it.


The board then also rejected a fourth proposed offer, at 185p a share, last week.


Shares in the company shot up above 180p in early trading but were up only 8% to 164p by Monday afternoon, suggesting investors were not expecting Senior’s management to be bowled over.


Broker Peel Hunt said that, having advised clients 10 days ago that there was a narrow window for a deal to be done at 200p, with Lone Star hiking its final offer to 200p, “we stand by this view”.


“However, with the share price at 170p, and with no guarantee a deal will be done, we are reducing our rating to ‘hold’ – with more downside in the event of ‘no deal’ and more limited upside to 200p, we would not advise clients to chase the shares here.”

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