Christian Salvesen PLC, one of Britain’s best-known trucking companies, rejected a takeover approach Wednesday by a consortium led by Swedish investment firm AB Custos.
Custos already is Salvesen’s largest shareholder, with a 10.2 percent stake, and indicated that the consortium may offer 180 pence a share for the stock, valuing Salvesen at £477 million ($719 million).
While Salvesen’s (SVC) shares have doubled over the past year, it long has long been seen as a takeover target, and its shares jumped Tuesday on speculation of a possible bid.
The stock was 10 percent higher at 178 pence in late afternoon trade Wednesday, having reached as high as 185 pence.
However, the company quickly rebuffed the Custos approach, though analysts believe other firms in the sector also may express interest. “Christian Salvesen has informed the consortium that it would not be prepared to recommend such an offer,'” Salvesen said.
Commerzbank, which recently started coverage of the stock, said in a note that Salvesen is “a potentially attractive acquisition target in a consolidating European logistics market.”
Custos said it is “currently considering its options” as its shares jumped 6 percent.
Salvesen operates a fleet of 2,500 trucks for blue-chip clients including retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS) and Ford Motor Co.