Rolls dealer HR Owen yields to £42m takeover


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The Independent Online

One of London’s oldest car dealerships yesterday gave in to a pursuit from Malaysian billionaire and Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan.

The board of HR Owen announced it is backing an improved £42m takeover bid from Berjaya Philippines, the investment group controlled by Mr Tan, pictured, right.

Berjaya had an offer worth £32.5m rejected in July, but yesterday announced it had decided to raise its approach from 130p a share to 170p. This, said the board, was “a fair value”, representing a premium of more than 40 per cent from before the first offer was made.

Shares in HR Owen climbed 5p to 167.5p, having shot up nearly 15 per cent on Thursday following news of the raised bid.

Shareholders have until 27 September to decide whether to accept it. Berjaya built up its stake in HR Owen by buying 29.8 per cent in June.

Yesterday it announced it had raised its stake to 40.8 per cent, taking it above the 30 per cent limit that, under Takeover Panel rules, means it must make a bid.

HR Owen opened its first dealership more than 80 years in Mayfair.

It has been boosted recently by strong sales of luxury cars such Rolls-Royces, with shares having shot up over the past year.