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Schroders increases stake in troubled Provident

Schroders has increased its stake in a troubled sub-prime lender Provident Financial.

The asset manager has upped its holdings in the company from 12.4 per cent to 13.7 per cent, according to a stock market update earlier this week.

Yesterday, a further update suggested that Schroders’ total holdings of ordinary shares in the company had reached 14.6 per cent.

The filings suggest Schroders has spent upwards of £10m on new Provident share purchases, with voting rights attached to Schroder Investment Management Limited.

Last week, Provident received a £1.3bn offer from its competitor Non-Standard Finance. Provident rejected the bid, which it deemed as an attempt at “hostile takeover”.

The bid offered no premium over the share prices, but was supported by Woodford Investment Management and Invesco, which between them own over 50 per cent of Provident.

Provident urged shareholders not to respond to takeover offer

While the lender ackowledged these shareholders’ preferences, the company’s chief executive Malcolm Le May told the Financial Times: “I’m going to do my damnedest to get a decent deal for all shareholders, and that’s not this one.”

Provident’s turbulent times started in 2017, when the profit warnings sent the value of its shares on a downward spiral.

Provident is set to release its preliminary accounts for 2018 in the coming month.

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