A bidding war for United Kingdom-based equipment rental company Lavendon intensified this week as Belgian rental player TVH Group raised its offer to £444 million (about U.S. $545 million), slightly above the previous offer from France-based Loxam, Europe’s largest rental company. TVH said it is now offering 261 pence per Lavendon share, up from its previous offer of 251 pence per share and higher than Loxam’s offer of 260 pence per share made Dec. 28.
TVH also said it now owns about 20 percent of Lavendon.
Both TVH and Loxam are attracted to Lavendon’s market share in the U.K. equipment rental industry, as well as its prominence in the Middle East. TVH’s latest bid is its fourth offer. Lavendon management is supporting Loxam’s offer and has advised shareholders to take no action regarding the competing bid from TVH.
In a letter to shareholders last month, Lavendon chairman John Standen said management would recommend Loxam’s offer because its rental activities would complement Lavendon’s business.
Loxam management said it is considering its options.
The latest offer represents a nearly 90 percent jump in Lavendon’s share price, which was at 139 pence at the close of trading on Nov. 21 before TVH’s first offer to acquire Lavendon became known.
Lavendon, primarily in the aerial rental business, has operations in Bahrain, Belgium, France, Germany, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., and the United Arab Emirates.