Provident takeover war continues as NSF insists no capital raise needed

Non-Standard Finance has dismissed suggestions that it would have to raise fresh capital if the sub-prime lender was to succeed in its £1.3 billion takeover tilt for rival Provident.

The idea was put forward by Provident in the latest war of words between the two firms.

In another rebuttal document, Provident said that, were the deal to go ahead, there may be an “under-capitalisation of the enlarged group”, potentially requiring a capital raise.

However, NSF boss John van Kuffeler hit back almost immediately, describing the assertion as “complete nonsense”.

“Any suggestion of an NSF capital raise or weakness in its financial performance is complete nonsense, and rich coming from Provident.

“Unlike Provident, NSF has not needed an emergency capital raise and does not have a recent history of three profit warnings, the last being only in January,” he said.

The fresh outbursts come a day after Provident’s third-largest shareholder, Schroders, refused to support NSF’s hostile bid.

The fund manager, which holds a 14.6% stake in Provident, said the offer was not in the best interests of shareholders.

NSF has acceptances for more than 50% of Provident’s shares, including from Woodford Investment Management, Invesco Asset Management and Marathon Asset Management, who together hold a 49% stake.

However, the level of support has not moved upwards for several weeks.

Investors in Provident have until May 15 to register acceptances for the deal, a deadline that will not be extended.