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The emergence of a mystery suitor could kickstart a bidding war over Wiltshire-based Wincanton / Image source: Adobe
  • CMA CGM ups offer to 480p
  • Wincanton board backs increased bid
  • Mystery suitor emerges

Shares in Wincanton (WIN) accelerated 11.4% to an all-time high of 500p on Monday after agreed buyer CMA CGM upped its offer for the UK logistics company and an unnamed third party threw its hat into the ring.

This has set the scene for a bidding war over the Wiltshire-based business.

French shipping group CMA CGM, which last month agreed to buy Wincanton for 450p per share, is now offering 480p per share.

A 6.7% premium to its original bid valuing Wincanton’s equity at roughly £605 million, the increased offer also represents a 62% premium to the pre-takeover process share price.

FAIR & REASONABLE

Wincanton’s board has recommended shareholders accept the increased and final cash bid from Marseille-based CMA CGM, which it considers ‘fair and reasonable’.

But in a further statement, Wincanton said it had received an approach from ‘a potential competing bidder’, albeit no formal proposal had yet been provided by the mystery suitor.

‘There can be no certainty that an offer by the potential competing bidder will be made for the company, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made,’ conceded Wincanton.

JTC touches new 12-month high on strong outlook

There continue to be plenty of twists and turns with UK takeovers and one trend that’s gathering pace is the bidding war.

Someone throws their hat in the ring and fires the starting gun on a takeover, and in the subsequent weeks we see interest from other parties or shareholders pushing for a high takeout price.

A topical example is technology products purveyor Currys (CURY), which has attracted takeover interest from both US activist investor Elliot Partners as well as Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com (JD:NASDAQ).

THE EXPERT’S VIEW

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘Logistics group Wincanton is the latest candidate to follow this trend as an unidentified second party has expressed interest in potentially making an offer to compete with the existing one already on the table from CEVA.

‘Naturally, the latter doesn’t want to risk losing Wincanton and has raised its offer with the hope that the price is good enough to seal the deal. Investors who didn’t cash out at CEVA’s initial bid will now be enjoying a nice bump to the share price.’

DISCLAIMER: Financial services company AJ Bell referenced in this article owns Shares magazine. The author of this article (James Crux) and the editor (Ian Conway) own shares in AJ Bell.

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Issue Date: 26 Feb 2024