Provident Financial fires back in hostile takeover tussle with NSF

Doorstep lender Provident Financial has fired back after rival Non-Standard Finance (NSF) set a closing date for Provident Financial shareholders to accept its £1.3bn hostile takeover offer.

John van Kuffeler, chief exec of NSF.

Bradford-based Provident warned its shareholders that the revised timetable leaves them exposed to a potential “blind” and “uncosted” remedy from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

Earlier this week NSF insisted it is on track to receive regulatory approval for the deal. Investors in Bradford-based Provident will have until May 15 to register acceptances for the deal, a deadline that will not be extended.

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Provident also told shareholders that NSF has not provided “satisfactory” answers to questions it has posed about the offer.

One of those questions is around NSF’s digital strategy. Provident said: “NSF continues to be committed to a closure or sale of Satsuma, but has not articulated any detail around its own digital strategy.”

The Bradford-based lender also said the offer undervalues the company. It also blasted NSF over historic dividend payment issues.

“Provident notes that NSF has dedicated a significant proportion of its AGM notice to rectify historic unlawful dividend payments and share buy-backs, which demonstrated a failure in NSF’s governance practices as a listed company,” it said.

John van Kuffeler, chief executive of NSF, said: “Our offer and transformation plan for Provident is compelling and will benefit customers and employees as well as unlock substantial value for shareholders.”