Shawbrook Bank agrees to takeover bid

Money

Shawbrook Bank has finally agreed to be acquired, after months of negotiation.

The bank was first approached back in March when Marlin Bidco made an offer of £825 million for the specialist lender.

Marlin Bidco is a company jointly owned by private equity firms Pollen Street Capital and BC Partners LLP.

Earlier this month the challenger bank rejected a raised offer of £868m from the private equity investors, which already hold a 38.8 per cent stake in the lender.

The bank urged shareholders not to take any action or sign any documents sent to them by Marlin Bidco.

But today it emerged that Shawbrook had changed its advice to shareholders and is recommending investors accept the deal.

It came as the offer became wholly unconditional after 76 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the deal.

If it goes through, Marlin Bidco will see its stake in the business climb to 75.6 per cent.

But, in an announcement on the London Stock Exchange, it was revealed that the independent directors at the business ‘continue to believe that the final offer undervalues Shawbrook and its prospects’.

In a statement, the directors said they recognised that if the final offer goes through then Marlin Bidco would be able to cancel the listing of Shawbrook shares on the exchange.

They said: ‘Consequently, it is likely that Shawbrook shareholders who do not accept the final offer could, as a result, own a minority interest in an unlisted company. This would significantly reduce the liquidity of Shawbrook shares.’

Shareholders will have until July 10 to make their decision.

Specialist lender Shawbrook was founded in 2011 and listed on the stock exchange in April 2015 at 290p a share. They have since climbed to 339p.