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Home / Latest News / Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan’s bid for luxury car dealership rebuffed

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan’s bid for luxury car dealership rebuffed

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has made an unsuccessful bid for a luxury car dealership with showrooms across the UK.

HR Owen, which runs outlets in locations including London and Manchester, received a take-over bid from Berjaya Philippines which is run by the Malaysian billionaire.

The firm has rebuffed the offer of 130p a share which represented a 7.4 per cent premium to the closing mid market price of the company’s shares on the day of the offer.

A spokesman for HR Owen said: “The board believes the offer by Berjaya to be inadequate and at a level which materially undervalues the company.

“Therefore, the board strongly recommends that shareholders take no action in respect of this unsolicited and unacceptable offer from Berjaya.”

A spokesman for Berjaya has today confirmed a document containing the terms and conditions of the offer has been sent to shareholders of HR Owen.

The deadline for acceptance is August 19, it is unclear whether shareholders would back the take-over approach.

If Berjaya cannot get the required support it could return with an improved offer.

HR Owen enjoyed a 28% rise in pre-tax profits and made £2.3m for the year ending December 31.

The business operates retail outlets in London, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Manchester which includes 14 sales franchises and 13 after sales franchises for its Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari

According to the latest results filed at Companies House chief executive Joe Doyle said: “We recorded healthy growth in the volumes of new cars sold in 2012 with good performances across the majority of the group’s franchises.

“Most notable were the increases in volumes for Lamborghini, Bentley and Ferrari.

“Our sales of Bugattis was the highest worldwide.

“Like for like new and used car sales increased by 11% and 5% respectively.

“Overall, 694 new cars and 844 used cars were sold during the year.

“We continue to hold a strong order book for new cars and expect to benefit further from additional new models due for launch in the second half of the year.

“Both used car trading and after sales look set to maintain the solid start they have made to the year.

“Aftersales will be an area of particular focus this year as we seek to improve our efficiency and labour recovery rate.”

Berjaya has been reported to have lifted its stake in the dealership to 29.9% two months ago and believes there is scope to expand.

Vincent Tan is Malaysia’s ninth richest person and founder of conglomerate Berjaya Corp, which has interests in gambling, property development, hotels and fast-food franchises, and is worth £1bn.

Cardiff City is said to have reached an “amicable resolution” with creditors Langston Corporation over the club’s longstanding debt.

The debt to Swiss-based financial company Langston, of whom former Bluebirds chief Sam Hammam is a representative, was taken out in 2004 and was believed to be worth £24m.

Cardiff’s most recent financial figures showed the club were £83m in debt.

Vincent Tan had stated he was confident of reaching an agreement after holding talks with Hammam, and a deal has now been struck.

At the time Mr Tan said: “This settlement allows us to look to a new era of financial stability, which should be celebrated by all connected to Cardiff City.

“I am delighted, primarily for the supporters of this great club that we can put this matter firmly behind us and plan for our future with confidence.”

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