Bosses at Halfords, owner of the UK’s largest vehicle servicing network, have rejected the advances of vehicle hire and repair group Redde Northgate because it undervalued the company, reports suggest.
Redde Northgate had proposed a nil-premium merger, valuing Halfords at £1.4 billion, according to The Times, but the discussions were abandoned because of disagreements over price.
The Halfords board is reportedly thought to have concluded that any such deal on the terms laid out would have undervalued the company.
However, it is believed that Redde Northgate could mount a fresh bid if the valuation gap between the two sides closes.
“There were discussions about what an integration of the two businesses might look like but there were questions over the valuations of both companies,” a source told The Times.
“Both share prices weren’t doing fantastically well at the time so there is nothing live at the moment. However, it could come back.”
Following a series of acquisitions, including Universal Tyre and Autocare, National Tyres and Autocare and Lodge Tyre, Halfords now has 1,781 vehicle service locations across its garage, store and mobile service van operations.
This autumn it launched a marketing campaign directly against franchised dealer networks, telling motorists they should not pay over the odds for repairs at main dealers and instead should come to Halfords.
Founded in 1992, offering a package of motor claims accident management services, including vehicle replacement and repair management together with full claims-handling assistance, Redde became Redde Northgate in 2020 following its merger with the van rental company.
It bought FMG for £42.3 million in 2015, and in September 2020 acquired the majority of repair centres from Nationwide Accident Repair Services, the UK’s largest wholly owned repair network, renaming it FMG RS. It now has 64 repair centres