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Mystery bidder pulls out of HR Owen talks

The anonymous bidder interested in buying HR Owen withdrew from discussions last week.

An indicative offer was announced on September 6, but the board of HR Owen has now been informed by advisers that the interested party is no longer interested.

HR Owen’s disposal of its BMW sites and two Volvo sites is still progressing but no timescale for completion could be given.

Nick Lancaster, chief executive of HR Owen, declined to comment on the identity of the bidder but told AM that talks had broken down because the interested party had changed its strategy.

“We are concentrating on the top end of the market and have almost finished paring down our business. We are doing well, but as a public company, we still have to consider unsolicited third party offers.

“With that specific bidder, it seemed good for the shareholders at the time.

“As a board, we are unanimous in our belief that HR Owen continues to have an excellent future and we remain confident that we will, over the coming years, deliver significant shareholder value.”

The mystery bidder was believed to be either Sytner group or New Zealand motor distributor Balverona, which already owns a fifth of Owen’s shares.

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