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UK: Competition watchdog looking at Subprime lender’s merger plan

 |  February 26, 2019

Britain’s competition watchdog is considering the possible market impact of a union between subprime lenders Non-Standard Finance (NSF) and Provident Financial, after Provident spurned a takeover bid.

The Competition and Markets Authority announced on Tuesday, February 26, it had served the companies with an initial enforcement order, potentially preventing NSF from making another bid for its larger rival.

British lender Provident on Monday rejected a £1.3 billion (US$1.7 billion) takeover bid launched by its former CEO and stated it was looking for a better solution to turn around its business.

Smaller rival Non-Standard Finance (NSF), led by ex-Provident boss John van Kuffeler, announced on Friday that it had offered to buy Provident, which has run into trouble with regulators worried about the rates it charges on loans.

While an initial enforcement order does not stop Provident and NSF from signing a deal, it prevents the firms from integrating, exchanging money, or moving assets. NSF also remains free to approach its rival with another offer.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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