RNS Number : 4316F
Hastings Group Holdings plc
16 November 2020
 

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN OR INTO ANY  JURISDICTION  WHERE  TO  DO  SO  WOULD  CONSTITUTE  A  VIOLATION  OF  THE RELEVANT LAWS OF SUCH JURISDICTION

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

16 November 2020

RECOMMENDED CASH ACQUISITION

OF

HASTINGS GROUP HOLDINGS PLC

BY

DORSET BIDCO LIMITED

 

(a newly incorporated company jointly owned by a consortium comprising

Sampo plc and

Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Limited)

 

to be effected by means of a Scheme of Arrangement under
Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006

 

SCHEME OF ARRANGEMENT BECOMES EFFECTIVE

On 5 August 2020, the independent directors of Hastings Group Holdings plc (Hastings) and the directors of Dorset Bidco Limited (Bidco), a newly incorporated company jointly owned by a consortium comprising Sampo plc (Sampo) and Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Limited (RMI), announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer pursuant to which Bidco would acquire the issued and to be issued share capital of Hastings not already owned or controlled by Sampo and RMI (the Offer) to be effected by means of a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act (the Scheme). Full details of the Offer are set out in the scheme document published on 28 August 2020 (the Scheme Document).

On 13 November 2020, Hastings announced that the Court had sanctioned the Scheme.

Hastings is pleased to announce that the Court Order has been delivered to the Registrar of Companies today and, accordingly, the Scheme has now become effective in accordance with its terms.

Settlement of Consideration

Under the terms of the Scheme, Scheme Shareholders on the register of members of Hastings at the Scheme Record Time (6:00 p.m. on 13 November 2020) will be entitled to receive 250 pence in cash for each Scheme Share held at the Scheme Record Time. Settlement of the consideration to which any Scheme Shareholder is entitled will be effected by way of the despatch of cheques or the crediting of CREST accounts (for Scheme Shareholders holding Scheme Shares in certificated form and uncertificated form, respectively) as soon as practicable and in any event not later than 30 November 2020.

Delisting of Hastings Shares

Dealings in Hastings shares were suspended with effect from 7:30 a.m. (London time) on 16 November 2020. Applications have been made to the FCA and London Stock Exchange in relation to the delisting of Hastings shares from the premium segment of the Official List and the cancellation of the admission to trading of Hastings shares on the London Stock Exchange's main market for listed securities, which are each expected to take place at 8.00 a.m. on 17 November 2020.

Board Changes

As the Scheme has now become effective, Hastings duly announces that, as of today's date, Ricard Wennerklint, Torbjörn Magnusson, Morten Thorsrud, Knut-Arne Alsaker, and Jan Hofmeyr have been appointed to the Hastings Board; and Thomas Colraine, Alison Burns, Elizabeth Chambers, Pierre Lefèvre, Teresa Robson-Capps, Selina Sagayam, Tobias van der Meer, and John Worth have tendered their resignation and have stepped down from the Hastings Board.

Capitalised terms in this announcement (the Announcement), unless otherwise defined, have the same meanings as set out in the Scheme Document dated 28 August 2020.

Hastings enquiries:




Hastings

+44 (0) 14 2473 8366

Toby van der Meer (Chief Executive Officer)

John Worth (Chief Financial Officer)

Tony Leppard (Group Company Secretary)

John Armstrong (Head of Investor Relations)




Hastings advisers, in alphabetical order:




Barclays Bank PLC, acting through its Investment Bank (Joint Financial Adviser and Joint Corporate Broker)

Mike Lamb

Omar Faruqui

Neal West

Milan Solanki

 

+44 (0) 20 7623 2323

Fenchurch Advisory Partners LLP (Joint Financial

 Adviser)  

Kunal Gandhi

William Nourse

Duncan Buck

Brendan Perkins

 

+44 (0) 20 7382 2222

Numis Securities Limited (Joint Financial Adviser and

Joint Corporate Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7260 1000

Charles Farquhar

Stuart Ord

Stephen Westgate

Akshman Ori




Consortium enquiries:




RMI

Herman Bosman

Jan Hofmeyr

 

+27 12 684 8084

Sampo

Ricard Wennerklint (Chief of Strategy)

Jarmo Salonen (Head of IR and Group Communications)

 

+46 8 792 8022

+358 10 516 0030



Consortium advisers:




J.P. Morgan Cazenove (Financial Adviser to the Consortium)    

+44 (0) 20 7742 4000

Andreas Lindh

Dwayne Lysaght

Sanchit Suri

Christian Kornhoff

Jonty Edwards




 

Allen & Overy LLP is acting as legal adviser to Bidco in connection with the Offer. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is acting as legal adviser to Hastings in connection with the Offer.

 

Important notices relating to financial advisers

J.P. Morgan Securities plc, which conducts its UK investment banking business as J.P. Morgan Cazenove (J.P. Morgan Cazenove), is authorised in the UK by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the UK by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the FCA. J.P. Morgan Cazenove is acting as financial adviser exclusively for Bidco, Sampo plc, RMI and Main Street 1353 Proprietary Limited  and no one else in connection with the matters set out in this Announcement and will not regard any other person as its client in relation to the matters in this Announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Bidco, Sampo plc, RMI and Main Street 1353 Proprietary Limited  for providing the protections afforded to clients of J.P. Morgan Cazenove, or for providing advice in relation to any matter referred to herein.

Barclays Bank PLC, acting through its Investment Bank (Barclays), which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, is acting exclusively for Hastings and no‑one else in connection with the Offer and will not be responsible to anyone other than Hastings for providing the protections afforded to its clients nor for providing advice in relation to the Offer or any other matters referred to in this Announcement.

Fenchurch Advisory Partners LLP (Fenchurch Advisory Partners), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting exclusively for Hastings and no-one else in connection with the Offer and will not be responsible to anyone other than Hastings for providing the protections afforded to clients of Fenchurch Advisory Partners nor for providing the protections afforded to its clients nor for providing advice in relation to the Offer or any other matters referred to in this Announcement.

Numis Securities Limited (Numis), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting exclusively for Hastings and no one else in connection with the matters set out in this Announcement and will not regard any other person as its client in relation to the matters in this Announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Hastings for providing the protections afforded to clients of Numis, nor for providing advice in relation to any matter referred to herein.

In accordance with the Code, normal UK market practice and Rule 14e-5(b) of the U.S. Exchange Act, each of Barclays, Natixis SA and their affiliates will continue to act as exempt principal trader in Hastings securities on the London Stock Exchange. These purchases and activities by exempt principal traders which are required to be made public in the UK pursuant to the Code will be reported to a Regulatory Information Service and will be available on the London Stock Exchange website at www.londonstockexchange.com. This information will also be publicly disclosed in the United States to the extent that such information is made public in the UK.

Further Information

This Announcement is for information purposes only and is not intended to and does not constitute, or form any part of, an offer to sell or an invitation to or the solicitation of an offer to purchase, otherwise acquire or subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction pursuant to the Offer or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities of Hastings in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law.

This Announcement does not constitute a prospectus, a prospectus equivalent or an exempted document.

This Announcement has been prepared for the purpose of complying with English law, the rules of the London Stock Exchange, the Listing Rules and the Code and the information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if this Announcement had been prepared in accordance with the laws and regulations of jurisdictions outside England.

Overseas Shareholders

The release, publication or distribution of this Announcement in jurisdictions other than the UK or the U.S. may be restricted by law and therefore any persons who are not resident in the UK or the U.S. or who are subject to the laws of any jurisdiction other than the UK or the U.S. (including Restricted Jurisdictions) should inform themselves about, and observe, any applicable legal or regulatory requirements. Any failure to comply with applicable legal or regulatory requirements of any jurisdiction may constitute a violation of securities laws in that jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, the companies and persons involved in the Offer disclaim any responsibility or liability for the violation of such restrictions by any person.

The Offer will be subject to the applicable requirements of English law, the Code, the Panel, the London Stock Exchange, the FCA, the applicable requirements of Gibraltar law and the GFSC.

Copies of this Announcement and any formal documentation relating to the Offer are not being, and must not be, directly or indirectly, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in or into or from any Restricted Jurisdiction or any jurisdiction where to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of such jurisdiction and persons receiving such documents (including custodians, nominees and trustees) must not mail or otherwise forward, distribute or send them in or into or from any Restricted Jurisdiction.

Notice to U.S. investors in Hastings

The Offer, implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement is not subject to the tender offer rules or the proxy solicitation rules under the U.S. Exchange Act, as amended. Accordingly, the Offer is subject to the disclosure requirements and practices applicable to a scheme of arrangement involving a target company in the UK listed on the London Stock Exchange, which differ from the disclosure requirements of the U.S. tender offer and proxy solicitation rules. Unless otherwise stated, the financial information with respect to Hastings included in this Announcement and the Scheme Document has been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the UK and includes both IFRS and non-IFRS financial measures, and thus may not be comparable to financial information of U.S. companies or companies whose financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S.

The receipt of cash pursuant to the Scheme by U.S. shareholders as consideration for the transfer of their Hastings Shares pursuant to the Scheme may be a taxable transaction for U.S. federal income tax purposes and under applicable U.S. state and local, as well as foreign and other, tax laws.  Each Hastings Shareholder (including each U.S. shareholder) is urged to consult his independent professional adviser immediately regarding the tax consequences of the Offer applicable to him. Neither the SEC nor any U.S. state securities commission has approved or disproved or passed judgment upon the fairness or the merits of the Offer or determined if this Announcement is adequate, accurate or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offence in the U.S.

Some or all of Hastings' officers and directors reside outside the U.S., and some or all of its assets are or may be located in jurisdictions outside the U.S. Therefore, investors may have difficulty effecting service of process within the U.S. upon those persons or recovering against Hastings or its officers or directors on judgments of U.S. courts, including judgments based upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws. Further, it may be difficult to compel a non-U.S. company and its affiliates to subject themselves to a U.S. court's judgment. It may not be possible to sue Hastings or its officers or directors in a non-U.S. court for violations of the U.S. securities laws.

In accordance with normal UK practice and pursuant to Rule 14e-5(b) of the U.S. Exchange Act, Bidco or its nominees, or its brokers (acting as agents), may from time to time make certain purchases of, or arrangements to purchase, Hastings Shares outside the US, other than pursuant to the Offer, until the date on which the Scheme becomes Effective, lapses or is otherwise withdrawn. These purchases may occur either in the open market at prevailing prices or in private transactions at negotiated prices. Any information about such purchases will be disclosed as required in the UK, will be reported to the Regulatory News Service of the London Stock Exchange and will be available on the London Stock Exchange website at https://www.londonstockexchange.com/

Publication on website and availability of hard copies

A copy of this Announcement will be made available (subject to certain restrictions relating to persons resident in Restricted Jurisdictions) for inspection free of charge on Hastings' website at https://www.hastingsplc.com by no later than 12 noon London time on the Business Day following the Announcement.

Neither the contents of that website nor the content of any other website accessible from hyperlinks on that website is incorporated into, or forms part of, this Announcement.

Hastings Shareholders may request a hard copy of this Announcement by contacting Equiniti Limited between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. (London time) Monday to Friday (excluding English and Welsh public holidays) on 0371 384 2050 (from within the UK) or +44 (0)121 415 0259 (from outside the UK) or by submitting a request in writing to Registrar at Equiniti Limited, Aspect House, Spencer Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN99 6DA. If you have received this Announcement in electronic form, copies of this Announcement and any document or information incorporated by reference into this document will not be provided unless such a request is made.

Forward-looking statements

This Announcement contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the Consortium, Bidco and Hastings. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate only to historical or current facts. Forward-looking statements often use words such as, without limitation, "anticipate", "target", "expect", "estimate", "intend", "plan", "goal", "believe", "aim", "will", "may", "hope", "continue", "would", "could" or "should" or other words of similar meaning or the negative thereof. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the following: (i) future capital expenditures, expenses, revenues, economic performance, financial conditions, dividend policy, losses and future prospects, (ii) business and management strategies and the expansion and growth of the operations of Bidco or Hastings, and (iii) the effects of government regulation on the business of Bidco or Hastings. There are many factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements. Among such factors are changes in the global, political, economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory forces, future exchange and interest rates, changes in tax rates and future business combinations or disposals. Such statements are qualified in their entirety by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations. These forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of such persons and the environment in which each will operate in the future. Except as expressly provided in this Announcement, they have not been reviewed by the auditors of the Consortium, Bidco or Hastings. By their nature, these forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. The factors described in the context of such forward-looking statements in this Announcement may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of any such person, or industry results and developments, to be materially different from any results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. No assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct and persons reading this Announcement are therefore cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as at the date of this Announcement. None of the Consortium, Bidco, Hastings, nor their respective members, directors, officers or employees, advisers or any person acting on their behalf, provides any representation, assurance or guarantee that the occurrence of the events expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements attributable to in this Announcement will actually occur. No forward-looking or other statements have been reviewed by the auditors of the Consortium, Bidco or Hastings.

None of the Consortium, Bidco, Hastings or their respective members, directors, officers, employees, advisers and any person acting on behalf of one or more of them undertakes any intention or obligation to update publicly or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent legally required. All subsequent oral or written forward-looking statements attributable to the Consortium, Bidco or Hastings or any persons acting on their behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statement above.

No member of the Consortium, the Bidco Group nor the Hastings Group, nor any of their respective associates, directors, officers, employees or advisers, provides any representation, assurance or guarantee that the occurrence of the events expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements in this Announcement will actually occur.

 

 

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