U.S. private equity firm HarbourVest extends $1.35 billion SVG bid: Reuters

U.S. private equity firm HarbourVest Partners said it had extended its $1.35 billion offer for smaller rival SVG Capital (SVI.L), even after the British firm accepted an offer for its investment portfolio from Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Boston-based HarbourVest said on Friday that an extension provides shareholders with additional time to consider its “compelling and final” offer.

The acceptance period for HarbourVest’s hostile bid was extended to Oct. 13 from Oct. 6, the company said, adding that it had received valid acceptances for 27.7 percent of SVG’s shares by Thursday afternoon, 26.6 percent of which were subject to letters of intent.

HarbourVest launched its SVG bid on Sept. 12 at 650 pence a share, saying it was taking advantage of a weaker pound, following the Brexit vote, to snap up assets with good short-term growth prospects.

On Friday, SVG again urged shareholders to not accept HarbourVest’s offer.

Investor Old Mutual (OML.L), which signed a non-binding letter of intent earlier to back HarbourVest’s offer, withdrew its support in respect of about 8.8 percent of SVG’s share capital, HarbourVest said in a statement that followed SVG’s announcement.

Old Mutual had owned a 9.09 percent stake as at Sept. 13, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Old Mutual’s move follows similar withdrawals by Aviva Investors (AV.L) and Legal & General Investment Management (LGEN.L), which together own about 7.3 percent of SVG’s shares.

SVG first rejected HarbourVest’s hostile approach last month saying it was talking to other suitors who might offer a better price.

SVG recommended shareholders vote in favour of the joint offer by the Goldman consortium at its general meeting, which SVG had earlier said would likely take place in early December. SVG said it would update investors before Oct. 13.

If the consortium’s bid prevails, SVG’s shareholders would be able to sell stock at 680 pence each in a series of tenders over the coming months and the firm would be wound up in the second quarter of next year.

Shares in SVG were up 0.15 percent at 668.5 pence at 1253 GMT, while HarbourVest was up 0.3 percent at 1,068 pence.