Local subsidiary of Malaysian company seeks to acquire UK car distributor

By: Doris C. Dumlao, July 18th, 2013 04:38 PM

Berjaya Philippines Incorporated website. Screengrab from http://www.pgpi.com.ph/home.html.

MANILA, Philippines—The local unit of Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya plans to launch a tender offer for all other shares of UK-listed luxury car distributor H.R. Owen PLC after initially acquiring 28.81 percent of the company.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, Berjaya Philippines Inc. said it had announced to the London Stock Exchange a plan to make a public offer for the entire share capital issued and to be issued by H.R. Owen.

Under the terms of the offer, holders of shares who accept the offer will be entitled to receive 130 pence in cash for each share. The offer values the share capital of H.R. Owen on a fully diluted basis at approximately £32.5 million ($49.29 million).

“The funding for the acquisition of shares and the offer will be from the issuer’s internal funds and partly from bank loan,” Berjaya’s disclosure said.

“The issuer is confident that the loan can be repaid from the income of the issuer and will not affect its operations,” it added.

H.R. Owen operates as a franchised motor dealer in the UK, selling new and used motor vehicles of various brands. It also engages in after-sales operations, including servicing vehicles; sale of parts and accessories; and body-shop repair services. It operates retail outlets in London, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, and Manchester, which include 14 sales franchises and 13 after-sales franchises for its Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani, and Rolls Royce vehicles.

Founded in 1932, H.R. Owen also operates after-sales franchises for Audi, BMW, Lotus, and MINI and is based in London.

The transaction boosts the car distribution portfolio of Berjaya’s Philippine unit. Earlier, the local firm hatched a deal with Japanese car giant Mazda Motor Corp. to set up a Mazda vehicle distribution business in the Philippines.

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