Chester’s GBG sees shares up 25% on takeover move

Shares of Chester-based identity verification company GB Group (GBG) soared almost 25% on Wednesday amid confirmation that Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR is considering a possible cash offer for GBG.

“Sterling remains weak and that is leaving UK stocks vulnerable to approaches from overseas predators – cybersecurity GB Group the latest on the block as it is targeted by a US private equity firm,” said AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.

“An already shrinking UK tech sector on the London market can ill-afford another departure. GB’s peer NCC is also pulled higher by the news.”

GB Group shares rose as much as 25% to £6.47 to give the firm a stock market value of about £1.6 billion.

On June 16, GBG said its profit before tax fell 36.8% to £21.7 million in the year to March 31, 2022, while revenue increased 11.4% to £242.5 million.

GB Group said in a stock exchange statement on Wednesday: “GBG notes yesterday’s statement by GTCR confirming that it is considering a possible cash offer for the entire issued, and to be issued, share capital of GBG.

“The board of GBG notes GTCR’s statement that there can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for the company, nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made.

“Any proposals received will be evaluated by the board of GBG together with its advisers.

“In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Takeover Code, by not later than 5.00 pm on 4 October 2022, GTCR must either announce a firm intention to make an offer for GBG under Rule 2.7 of the Takeover Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer for GBG, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Takeover Code applies.

“This deadline will only be extended with the consent of the Takeover Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Takeover Code.

“This announcement has been made without the consent of GTCR.

“Pending any further announcements GBG shareholders are advised to take no action. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”