Car dealership HR Owen fends off bid from Vincent Tan


One of London’s oldest car dealerships today urged shareholders to reject a £32.5 million offer for the business from Malaysian billionaire and owner of Premier League football club Cardiff City Vincent Tan.

HR Owen, which opened for business in Mayfair more than 80 years ago, fended off the 130p-a-share offer from Berjaya Philippines, describing it as “inadequate and at a level which materially undervalues the company”.

Berjaya Philippines is a subsidiary of Tan’s Malaysian-listed conglomerate Berjaya Corporation Berhad, which has wide-ranging interests in gambling, hotels and property as well as the distribution of marques such as Aston Martin and Mazda. Chief executive Tan is worth $1.3 billion (£857 million), according to Forbes.

Shares in Owen have more than doubled in the past year and it recently upgraded profit hopes on booming Rolls-Royce and Bentley sales. Berjaya lifted its stake in the dealership to 29.9% two months ago and believes there is scope to expand.