NSF drops £1.3bn hostile bid for Provident Financial

Bloomberg News has reported that Non-Standard Finance Plc (NSF), the subprime lender backed by beleaguered investor Neil Woodford, is dropping its £1.3 billion hostile bid for larger rival Provident Financial Plc. 

NSF has decided to let its offer for Bradford-based Provident lapse, according to a statement on Tuesday which confirmed an earlier report in Bloomberg News that it was considering dropping its bid.

“I am very disappointed that despite our best efforts customers, employees and shareholders will not now benefit from our transformation plan to build a brighter future by combining Provident with NSF,” said NSF CEO John van Kuffeler in the statement.

Van Kuffeler is a former boss of Provident Financial.

Woodford froze redemptions in his flagship fund on Monday after a number of losses prompted investor withdrawals.

But the hostile deal was already facing resistance from several Provident shareholders including Aberdeen Standard Investments, Janus Henderson Group Plc, M&G Investments and Schroders Plc.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority had also said it was reviewing the transaction, which had been accepted by some 53.5% of Provident’s investors.