TIDMLOOK

RNS Number : 0117P

Lookers PLC

06 October 2023

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

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION

For immediate release

6 October 2023

RECOMMED CASH OFFER

for

LOOKERS PLC ("Lookers")

by

GLOBAL AUTO HOLDINGS LIMITED ("Bidco")

SCHEME OF ARRANGEMENT BECOMES EFFECTIVE

On 20 June 2023, the boards of Bidco and Lookers announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer by Bidco for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Lookers pursuant to Rule 2.7 of the Takeover Code, to be implemented by means of a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006.

On 27 July 2023, Bidco announced that it had reached agreement with the board of Lookers on the terms of an increased recommended cash offer by Bidco for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Lookers (the "Increased Offer") and that, with the consent of the Panel and Lookers, the Increased Offer would be implemented by way of a takeover offer (as defined in section 974 of the Companies Act 2006).

On 4 August 2023, Bidco announced that, with the consent of the Panel and Lookers, the Increased Offer would be implemented by way of a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006 (the "Scheme"). The Scheme is subject to the terms and conditions set out in the scheme document published in connection with the Increased Offer on 12 August 2023 (the "Scheme Document").

On 5 September 2023, the Scheme was approved by the Scheme Shareholders at the Court Meeting and the Special Resolution relating to the implementation of the Scheme was approved by the Lookers Shareholders at the General Meeting also held on that date.

On 4 October 2023, Lookers announced that the High Court of Justice in England and Wales had made an order sanctioning the Scheme under section 899 of the Companies Act 2006 ("Scheme Court Order") on 4 October 2023.

Lookers and Bidco are pleased to announce that, following the delivery of a copy of the Scheme Court Order to the Registrar of Companies today, the Scheme has now become effective in accordance with its terms and, pursuant to the Scheme, the entire issued, and to be issued, ordinary share capital of Lookers is now owned by Bidco.

A Scheme Shareholder on the register of members of Lookers at the Scheme Record Time, being 6:00 p.m. on 5 October 2023, will be entitled to receive 130 pence in cash per Lookers Share held. Settlement of the consideration to which any Scheme Shareholder is entitled will be effected as soon as practicable and in any event not later than 14 days after 6 October 2023, the Effective Date, as set out in the announcement made by Lookers and Bidco in relation to the Acquisition on 15 September 2023.

Applications have been made to the Financial Conduct Authority and the London Stock Exchange in relation to the de-listing of Lookers Shares from the premium listing segment of the Official List and the cancellation of the admission to trading of Lookers Shares on the London Stock Exchange's main market for listed securities. These applications are expected to take effect by 8:00 a.m. on 9 October 2023.

As the Scheme has now become Effective, Lookers duly announces that, as of today's date, Paul Van der Burgh, Sue Farr and Robin Churchouse have each tendered their resignations and have stepped down from the Lookers Board with immediate effect.

Full details of the Acquisition are set out in the Scheme Document published on 12 August 2023.

Capitalised terms used in this announcement, unless otherwise defined, shall have the meanings given to them in the Scheme Document.

Enquiries:

 
 Bidco                                          +1 (905) 619 4996 
 Kuldeep Billan, Director 
 
  Jefferies International Limited (Financial 
  adviser to the Wider Bidco Group)               +44 (0) 20 7029 8000 
 Philip Noblet 
 Thomas Bective 
 Jordan Cameron 
 
 BMO Capital Markets Limited 
  (Financial adviser to the Wider Bidco 
  Group)                                        +44 (0) 20 7236 1010 
 Jeff Watchorn 
 Gary Mattan 
 Thomas Rider 
 Nick Macann 
 
 Hudson Sandler LLP (PR adviser to 
  Bidco)                                        +44 (0) 20 7796 4133 
 Alex Brennan                                   GAHL@hudsonsandler.com 
 Mark Garraway 
 
 Lookers                                        via MHP 
 Mark Raban, Chief Executive Officer 
 Oliver Laird, Chief Financial Officer 
 
 Numis Securities Limited (Joint financial 
  adviser and corporate broker to Lookers)      +44 (0) 20 7260 1000 
 Stuart Dickson 
 Stuart Ord 
 Oliver Steele 
 Duncan Wilson 
 
 Peel Hunt LLP (Joint financial adviser 
  and corporate broker to Lookers)              +44 (0) 20 7418 8900 
 Adrian Trimmings 
 Michael Nicholson 
 Andrew Clark 
 Edward Lowe 
 
 MHP (Financial PR adviser to Lookers)          +44 (0) 7595 461231 
                                                 / 
                                                 (0) 20 3128 8193 
                                                 Lookers@mhpgroup.com 
 Tim Rowntree 
 Charles Hirst 
 
 

Further Information

Jefferies International Limited ("Jefferies"), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively for the Wider Bidco Group 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 Wider Bidco Group for providing the protections afforded to clients of Jefferies nor for providing advice in relation to any matter referred to in this announcement or any transaction or arrangement referred to herein. Neither Jefferies nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Jefferies in connection with this announcement, any statement contained herein, any transaction or arrangement referred to herein, or otherwise.

BMO Capital Markets Limited ("BMO"), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting exclusively as financial adviser for the Wider Bidco Group and for no one else in connection with the matters set out or referred to in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Wider Bidco Group for providing the protections offered to clients of BMO nor for providing advice in relation to the matters set out or referred to in this announcement. Neither BMO nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of BMO in connection with this announcement, any matter or statement set out or referred to herein or otherwise.

Numis Securities Limited ("Numis"), which is authorised and regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom, is acting exclusively for Lookers and for no one else in connection with the Increased Offer and/or any other matter referred to in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Lookers for providing the protections afforded to its clients or for providing advice in relation to the Increased Offer, the contents of this announcement, or any other matters referred to in this announcement. Neither Numis nor any of its subsidiaries, affiliates or branches owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct, indirect, consequential, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Numis in connection with this announcement, any statement or other matter or arrangement referred to herein or otherwise.

Peel Hunt LLP ("Peel Hunt"), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting exclusively for Lookers and for no one else in connection with the matters referred to in this announcement. Peel Hunt will not be responsible to anyone other than Lookers for providing the protections afforded to clients of Peel Hunt nor for providing advice in relation to the contents of, or matters referred to in, this announcement. Neither Peel Hunt nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Peel Hunt in connection with the matters referred to in this announcement, or otherwise.

This announcement is not intended to and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or buy or an invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or the solicitation of any vote in any jurisdiction.

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in jurisdictions outside the United Kingdom may be restricted by law and therefore persons into whose possession this announcement comes should inform themselves about, and observe such restrictions. Any failure to comply with such restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities law of any such jurisdiction.

Overseas Shareholders

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom may be restricted by law and therefore any persons who are not resident in the United Kingdom or who are subject to the laws of any jurisdiction other than the United Kingdom (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 or regulations in that jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law or regulations, the companies and persons involved in the Increased Offer disclaim any responsibility or liability for the violation of such restrictions by any person.

This announcement has been prepared for the purpose of complying with English law 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 of jurisdictions outside England.

The Increased Offer will not be made, directly or indirectly, in or into or by use of the mails or any other means or instrumentality (including, without limitation, telephonic or electronic) of interstate or foreign commerce of, or any facility of a national, state or other securities exchange of, a Restricted Jurisdiction, and the Increased Offer will not be capable of acceptance by any such use, means, instrumentality or facility or from within a Restricted Jurisdiction. Copies of this announcement and any formal documentation relating to the Increased 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. Doing so may render invalid any related purported vote in respect of acceptance of the Increased Offer.

Further details in relation to Lookers Shareholders in overseas jurisdictions are contained in the Scheme Document.

Notice to U.S. Investors in Lookers

The Increased Offer relates to the shares of a company registered under the laws of England and Wales and is being made by way of a scheme of arrangement provided for under Part 26 of the Companies Act. The Increased 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. Accordingly, the Increased Offer is subject to the disclosure requirements and practices applicable to a scheme of arrangement involving a target company in England with its securities admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange, which differ from the requirements of U.S. tender offer and proxy solicitation rules. If, in the future, Bidco exercises its right to implement the Increased Offer by way of a Takeover Offer and determines to extend the Takeover Offer into the United States, the Increased Offer will be made in compliance with applicable U.S. laws and regulations including Sections 14(d) and 14(e) of the U.S. Exchange Act and Regulations 14D and 14E thereunder. Such a Takeover Offer would be made in the United States by Bidco (and/or a nominee of Bidco) and no one else.

The financial information included in this announcement has been prepared in accordance with accounting standards applicable in the United Kingdom and thus may not be comparable to financial information of U.S. companies or companies whose financial statements are prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

It may be difficult for U.S. Lookers Shareholders to enforce their rights and any claim arising out of the U.S. federal securities laws or the laws of any state or other jurisdiction in the United States in connection with the Increased Offer, because Lookers is located in a non-U.S. country, and some or all of its officers and directors may be residents of a non-U.S. country. U.S. Lookers Shareholders may not be able to sue a non-U.S. company or its officers or directors in a non-U.S. court for violations of the U.S. federal securities laws or the laws of any state or other jurisdictions in the United States. Further, it may be difficult to compel a non-U.S. company and its affiliates to subject themselves to a U.S. court's jurisdiction or judgment.

U.S. Lookers Shareholders also should be aware that the Increased Offer may have tax consequences in the United States and that such consequences, if any, are not described herein. U.S. Lookers Shareholders are urged to consult with legal, tax and financial advisers in connection with making a decision regarding the Increased Offer.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement (including information incorporated by reference in this announcement), oral statements made regarding the Increased Offer, and other information published by Bidco and/or Lookers contain statements which are, or may be deemed to be, "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are prospective in nature and are not based on historical facts, but rather on current expectations and projections of the management of Bidco and/or Lookers about future events, and are therefore subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements contained in this announcement include statements with respect to the expected effects of the Increased Offer on Bidco and Lookers, the expected timing and scope of the Increased Offer, the nancial condition, results of operations and business of Lookers and certain plans and objectives of Bidco with respect thereto and other statements other than historical facts. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identi ed by the fact that they do not relate only to historical or current facts and may use words such as "anticipate", "target", "expect", "estimate", "forecast", "intend", "plan", "budget", "scheduled", "goal", "believe", "hope", "aims", "continue", "will", "may", "should", "would", "could" or other words of similar meaning. These statements are based on assumptions and assessments made by Lookers and/or Bidco in light of their experience and their perception of historical trends, current conditions, future developments and other factors they believe appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risk and uncertainty and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such, because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. Although Bidco and/or Lookers believe that the expectations re ected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct and you are therefore cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as at the date of this announcement. Neither Bidco nor Lookers assumes any obligation to update or correct the information contained in this announcement (whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise), except as required by applicable law.

There are a number of factors which could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the ability to complete the Increased Offer; the ability to obtain any requisite regulatory and shareholder approvals and the satisfaction of other Conditions on the proposed terms; changes in the global, political, economic, business and competitive environments and in market and regulatory forces; changes in future exchange and interest rates; changes in tax rates; future business combinations or dispositions; changes in general and economic business conditions; changes in the behaviour of other market participants; the anticipated bene ts of the Increased Offer not being realised as a result of changes in general economic and market conditions in the markets and jurisdictions in which Bidco and Lookers operate; weak, volatile or illiquid capital and/or credit markets; changes in the degree of competition in the geographic and business areas in which Bidco and Lookers operate; and changes in laws or in supervisory expectations or requirements. Other unknown or unpredictable factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected, estimated or projected in the forward-looking statements. If any one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialises or if any one or more of the assumptions proves incorrect, actual results may differ materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Such forward-looking statements should therefore be construed in the light of such factors.

Neither Bidco nor Lookers, nor any of their respective associates or directors, of cers 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. Given the risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to place any reliance on these forward-looking statements.

Other than in accordance with their legal or regulatory obligations, neither Bidco nor Lookers is under any obligation, and Bidco and Lookers expressly disclaim any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Disclosure Requirements of the Code

Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Code, any person who is interested in 1 per cent. or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the Offer Period and, if later, following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified.

An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s). An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) of the Code applies must be made by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the 10th business day (as defined in the Code) following the commencement of the offer period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the 10th business day (as defined in the Code) following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a securities exchange offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.

Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in 1 per cent. or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror. A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s), save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8 of the Code. A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) of the Code applies must be made by no later than 3.30 p.m. (London time) on the business day (as defined in the Code) following the date of the relevant dealing.

If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a securities exchange offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3 of the Code.

Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4 of the Code).

Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Panel's website at www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the Offer Period commenced and when any offeror was first identified. You should contact the Panel's Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129 if you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure.

Publication on Website

In accordance with Rule 26.1 of the Code, a copy of this announcement will be made available (subject to certain restrictions relating to persons resident in Restricted Jurisdictions), free of charge, at https://globalautoholdings.com/ and at https://www.lookersplc.com/investors/recommended-proposed-offer/ by no later than 12 noon on the Business Day following the date of this announcement.

Neither the contents of these websites nor the content of any other website accessible from hyperlinks on such websites is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

Hard Copy Documents

Pursuant to Rule 30.3 of the Takeover Code, a person so entitled may request a copy of this announcement and any information incorporated into it by reference to another source in hard copy form. A person may also request that all future documents, announcements and information to be sent to that person in relation to the Increased Offer should be in hard copy form. For persons who receive a copy of this announcement in electronic form or via a website noti cation, a hard copy of this announcement will not be sent unless so requested by contacting Lookers' registrar, Link Group on +44 (0) 371 664 0321 or by submitting in writing to Link Group, Central Square, 29 Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 4DL or by email to ssdbeck@linkgroup.co.uk. Calls are charged at the standard geographic rate and will vary by provider. Calls outside the United Kingdom will be charged at the applicable international rate. Different charges may apply to calls from mobile telephones and calls may be recorded and randomly monitored for security and training purposes. Lines are open between 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., Monday to Friday excluding public holidays in England and Wales. The helpline cannot provide advice on the merits of the Increased Offer nor give any nancial, legal or tax advice.

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END

MSCMFBMTMTAMBAJ

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October 06, 2023 06:57 ET (10:57 GMT)

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