Private Equity 1-1 FTSE: St Modwen succumbs but Senior’s suitor slinks off


St. Modwen Properties PLC (LON:SMP) appears likely to be added to the growing list of London-listed companies succumbing to private equity buyers, but another, engineer Senior PLC (LON:SNR), today shrugged off its unwanted suitor.

Property developer St Modwen received a final offer from Blackstone that was upped to 560p, from 542p previously, valuing the group at roughly £1.3bn

Directors of the company, which operates businesses focused on residential homes, warehouses and regeneration, said they consider the new offer is “in the best interests” of shareholders and unanimously recommend they support the deal.


Fellow FTSE 250 group Senior, on the other hand, saw its American admirer Lone Star Global admit defeat after a months-long pursuit of the aircraft and car parts manufacturer.

Earlier this week Senior rejected the private equity firm’s fifth and final offer of £839mln.

Today the company said it is confident of executing its strategy amid a recovery in its key markets, having slimmed down with job cuts and business disposals.

Senior has said all five proposals from U.S.-based Lone Star undervalued its business. Shares in the company, which has said trading in the five months to May was ahead of its expectations, are up about 70% this year. They were last trading around 150 pence each.

Lone Star can return within six months if Senior’s board agrees.

Broker Peel Hunt said that given no new parties have emerged since the initial Blackstone announcement in early May, is “appears relatively unlikely” that a rival bidder will appear for St Modwen.

Senior shares were up 1% to 151.62p in mid-afternoon trading.


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