Pepper pockets pounds 5m from BCH bid

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The Independent Online
BCH VEHICLE Management, bought out by its management three years ago and floated 12 months ago, has accepted a pounds 40m bid from Deutsche Bank subsidiary ALD AutoLeasing, writes Clifford German.

Richard Pepper, the chief executive who led the buyout, will receive pounds 5m in cash for his 12.61 per cent stake plus an undisclosed sum for his share options.

Shareholders include NatWest Bank, HSBC, Robert Fleming and BAT, all of which backed the 1995 buyout.

The bid is worth 250p a share, 47.5 per cent above the 169.5p close on 25 November when BCH revealed it had received an approach. It values the company at pounds 39.6m compared with pounds 31.6m when it floated at 200p a year ago. Shareholders will receive a further interim dividend of 5p.

The Bristol group includes AutoChoice, a personal contract purchase scheme, and conventional contract hire, leasing and fleet management services. It operates 16,000 vehicles on behalf of 700 companies.

The bid price is about 15 times forecast earnings of 16.5p in the year ending next week. Senior executive directors will stay with the company, to be renamed DB Vehicle Solutions.