Top investors reject £481m Hyve takeover

The top 20 shareholders oppose the takeover of London-listed events organizer Hyve Group by US private equity raiders

The top 20 shareholders have opposed the takeover of London-listed event promoter Hyve Group by US private equity raiders.

Investors M&G, Redwheel and Blackmoor Investment Partners have opposed the £481m deal that would see another company disappear from the London Stock Exchange.

Together they hold around 17 percent of the voting rights, which puts the takeover into question.

US-based Providence Equity Partners agreed to pay 108p a share for Hyve last month, valuing the company behind shows like Pure London at £481m.

The dissident investors pose a legitimate threat to Providence’s offer, which requires 75 percent approval.

Opposition: US-based Providence Equity Partners agreed to pay 108 pence a share for Hyve last month

Opposition: US-based Providence Equity Partners agreed to pay 108 pence a share for Hyve last month

Although the board said “the offer represents value for shareholders,” a Blackmoor spokesman said the deal grossly undervalued Hyve.

“Right now, UK pensioners and shareholders are at risk of being underpaid if we allow bidders to buy companies at UK levels, which are currently discounted compared to European, US and other global peers,” they told the Mail.

“Companies are sold to new owners, but it is the responsibility of shareholders to draw the line for value.”

Rupert Krefting, Head of Corporate Finance and Stewardship at M&G Investments, echoed the point, saying: “The recent offer for Hyve significantly undervalues ​​the company and we plan to vote against the acquisition.”

He believes Hyve’s stock price still has upside as its post-pandemic comeback is not yet fully realized.

Although Hyve shares have not fully recovered since the £900billion events industry ground to a halt early in the pandemic, they are up 114 per cent over the past six months.

Krefting also pointed to the long-term benefits of exiting markets like Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, which he believes will improve the “quality of the portfolio” over time. Hyve’s largest shareholder, Strategic Value Partners, with a 17 percent stake, said it would support the acquisition when it was first announced.

But it declined to comment on whether that position has changed after yesterday.

Takeover interest in UK companies increased during Covid as bidders sought to take advantage of low price tags in a wave of ‘pandemic looting’. G4S, AA, Morrisons and Ultra Electronics are among the companies sold in recent years.

Hyve, formerly International Trade Exhibitions, was founded in 1991 by the Shashoua family, who wanted to capitalize on the transition of the former Soviet Union to a market economy.

Almost all of its exhibitions are now in advanced economies, having sold some global operations in the last year. Top investors reject £481m Hyve takeover

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