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Pendragon launches takeover of Lookers

Pendragon has made a formal offer for rival dealer group Lookers.

In a statement posted directly to Lookers’ shareholders today, Pendragon put forward its offer of 1.15 Pendragon shares for every Lookers share they hold. This values Lookers at £259 million.

Pendragon wants all acceptances of its offer before April 27.

The Lookers' board has issued a stinging rebuke of the Pendragon offer, warning shareholders of the damage the takeover would cause.

In the statement Pendragon said: “In a sector which is undergoing consolidation, no other bidders have emerged since Pendragon announced it was considering an offer for Lookers over 10 weeks ago.

“Lookers shareholders have endured underperformance when measured against Pendragon on a total shareholder return basis. Over the last three years, Pendragon shareholders have enjoyed total shareholder returns of over 50% higher than those which Lookers’ shareholders have seen.”

The dealer group went on to say that over 15 years, Pendragon shareholders had enjoyed ‘actual compound growth of 12.8%, over twice that of Lookers’.

Pendragon made its bid known to the Lookers board last month. It was ‘unanimously rejected’.

This afternoon Lookers restated its opposition to Pendragon's plans, branding the share offer as 'inadequate'.

Lookers says in a statement: "We have exceptional growth prospects as an independent company and continue to deliver strong results as recently demonstrated by its outstanding 2005 results and excellent current trading.

"Pendragon’s all-share offer comes with significant financial and operational risks and does not give the certainty of cash; and Pendragon’s offer substantially undervalues Lookers.

"The board therefore has no hesitation in unanimously advising shareholders to reject this unsolicited and wholly inadequate offer and not to complete any form of acceptance."

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