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Provident urges shareholders not to respond to takeover offer

Woodford-backed sub-prime lender Provident Financial has asked shareholders not to take action after receiving a takeover bid this morning.

Fellow alternative lender Non-Standard Finance has bid £1.3bn for the struggling firm, and has secured “irrevocable undertakings” to accept the offer from shareholders accounting for at least 50 per cent of the company, including Woodford, NSF said this morning.

In an announcement to the stock exchange, Provident has said it intends to respond to the offer at a later date and investors should take no action for now.

The update reads: “The board of Provident notes the unsolicited offer for Provident announced this morning by NSF.

“The board’s considered response to the offer will be announced in due course. In the meantime, shareholders are strongly advised to take no action in respect of the NSF offer.”

The note also reveals that Barclays is acting as corporate broker and financial adviser for Provident, while  J.P. Morgan Cazenove is acting as another financial adviser.

Provident fell out of the FTSE 100 in 2017 after a turbulent fortnight that saw the firm issue a profit warning and its chief executive resign.

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