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BCA Marketplace rejects £1.61bn takeover offer

Avril Palmer-Baunack, executive chairman, BCA Marketplace plc

BCA Marketplace has rejected a £1.61bn takeover offer from London-based private equity firm Apax Partners.

The WeBuyAnyCar owner announced that it had rejected the 200 pence-per-share offer, which represents a 5.2% discount to Friday’s closing price for the car auctioneer of 211 pence-per-share on Saturday.

A statement issued yesterday, however, stated that Apax was subsequently in the early stages of considering an offer for BCA to be made by a new entity – referred to as Apex Funds – which is “controlled by funds advised by Apax”.

The announcement stated, however, that this did not amount to a firm intention to make an offer and accordingly there can be no certainty that an offer will made.

Apax is now required, under Stock Market Rules, to either announce a firm intention that Apax Funds will make an offer for BCA (in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code) or announce that it does not, and that the Apax Funds do not, intend to make an offer, by 5pm on July 8.

BCA said in April it was trading ahead of market expectation with strong profit growth as the remarketing businesses was successful in winning new contracts and continuing contract renewals.

Reuters reported this morning that shares of the company, which says it operates Europe’s largest used vehicle exchange, were expected to open up as much as 5% according to premarket indicators.

As this story went live on AM online today, prices were up by almost 9.5%, at 230 pence-per-share, however.

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