Money Can’t Buy Everything
Berjaya Philippines Inc, owned by Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan, has made an offer of 130 pound share or GBP23.4 million to purchase the entire issue of London listed, HR Owen Plc. HR Owen is Britain’s largest luxury car dealer of, among others, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley and Rolls Royce. Berjaya Phillipines presently holds a 29.81% interest in the luxury car company.
The Board of HR Owen, however, is urging shareholders to reject the bid, describing it as “inadequate” as profits for the first half of the year has increased by 23.3%. The real stab to the chest was when HR Owen described the interested buyer as not being posh enough. Berjaya Philippines’ portfolio mostly consists of high volume commercial vehicles, which is in a class beneath the luxury car business or as HR Owen puts it in a thinly disguise insinuation “very different”.
Still, Berjaya appears unperturbed. Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd, the parent company of Berjaya Philippines, extended the offer until 2nd September. We’ll have to see if HR Owen’s shareholders are more inclined to money or distinction between the classes (of cars).