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December 17, 2010updated 12 Apr 2017 4:17pm

Hostile bid for Davenham

David Anthony, the former CEO of Hitachi Capital in the UK, has enlisted ex-Moneyway CEO Gary Jennison to help him take control of struggling asset finance lender Davenham Group plc. In an extraordinary meeting expected to be held around 10 January, shareholders of Davenham (in which Anthony has a 14.9 percent stake) will vote on whether to remove current directors Paul Burke and James Kerr-Muir, and appoint Anthony and Jennison as non-exectutive chairman and CEO respectively.

By Fred Crawley

David Anthony, the former CEO of Hitachi Capital in the UK, has enlisted ex-Moneyway CEO Gary Jennison to help him take control of struggling asset finance lender Davenham Group plc.

In an extraordinary meeting to be held on 11 January, shareholders of Davenham (in which Anthony has a 14.9 percent stake) will vote on whether to remove current directors Paul Burke and James Kerr-Muir, and appoint Anthony and Jennison as non-exectutive chairman and CEO respectively.

The Manchester-based commercial finance provider ceased writing new business halfway through this year, after taking heavy recessionary losses in its property finance arm. On the advice of corporate finance advisory firm Hawkpoint Partners, Davenham said in July that it would focus on collecting in its asset and property loans in a prudent and orderly manner.

Nevertheless, Anthony has long held the belief that there is still money to be made at Davenham, and prospective CEO Jennison, who has been looking for a business to grow since leaving nonprime consumer and motor lender Moneyway, is enthusiastic about the challenge.

Speaking exclusively to Leasing Life, Jennison commented: “There’s a real opportunity to get it going again but current management are just focused on collecting in the old book. David and I believe it would be a real waste for Davenham to shut down. It has some good people and systems, and had a good proposition before it made some bad lending decisions.”

A circular released by Davenham to shareholders in advance of January’s meeting stated that the board and the group’s bank funders had sought to cooperate with Anthony on any credible proposals for realisation of value to shareholders. Nevertheless, it stated that the bank funders did not wish make any changes to the current Davenham board and that they would support the current management team.  

Fred Crawley

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