Constellation Automotive Holdings, owner of U.K. automotive marketplace Cinch, has followed through with a formal offer of £323 million ($431 million) for Marshall Motor Holdings Plc.

It is unclear if the bid from Constellation is linked to feeding the Cinch business. Constellation also owns BCA and WeBuyAnyCar.

Marshall Motor Holdings had a turnover of £1.3 billion for H12020 and an operating profit of £42.9 million, giving an operating margin of 3.2%. It sold 53,000 cars in the period, 25,500 new (15,300 retail; 10,200 fleet) and 27,500 used cars. The franchise dealer group has 116 outlets and 164 dealerships in total across the U.K.

The offer would give shareholders 400 pence per share, a 46% premium on the company’s closing share price on Friday of 274 pence. Constellation said it had received an undertaking from Marshall of Cambridge to accept the offer for its 64.4% shareholding in Marshall Motors.

In a statement, Constellation said it was looking for a recommendation from the Marshall Motor board for the offer and was “looking forward to working with the team at Marshall to build on their success and progress to date.”

This follows on from Friday’s statement that Marshall of Cambridge was considering selling its stake in the company after a strategic review of its business interests. On Friday, Marshall Motor said that no contact with a potential buyer had been made but Constellation Automotive Group had asked for an opportunity to bid if Marshall of Cambridge decided to dispose of its 64.4% stake in Marshall Motor Holdings Plc.

In a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange on Monday morning, Constellation’s board said its subsidiary, CAG Vega 2 Ltd, would bid for all of Marshall of Cambridge’s shares at 400p per share. This offer values Marshall Motor Holdings Plc at £323 million. CAG Vera 2 said it had received an undertaking from Marshall of Cambridge to accept the offer.

“The Constellation board is looking forward to working with the team at Marshall to build on their success and progress to date,” the statement added.

It is possible other parties could make a bid for the shares but the comment from CAG Vera 2 that it had received an undertaking from Marshall of Cambridge to accept the offer suggests that the deal is likely to go through. If it did, Marshall could be taken off the stock exchange.

In a statement to the stock exchange on Monday morning, Marshall said it would make an announcement about the offer in due course.

By the close of trading on Monday, Marshall’s share price had risen by 42% to 390p.

*Update* – Tuesday Dec. 7 – In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange on Monday morning (Dec. 6), Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) has recommended that shareholders in majority shareholder Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Ltd (MCH), who own 64.4% of shares in the dealer group should accept Constellation Automotive’s £325m offer to take over the group. Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) said Constellation Automotive Group’s 400p-per-share offer for majority shareholder Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Ltd (MCH) was ‘fair and reasonable’.

 

Related Articles