- Provident Financial urged its shareholders to reject a £1.3bn takeover bid by rival Non-Standard Finance, describing the all-share offer as 'highly opportunisitc'.

Provident also criticised Non-Standard Finance for not engaging with its board before making its offer public.

'The board considers that this hostile offer represents an irresponsible approach in the context of a financially regulated business which is recovering from a period of substantial instability,' Provident said.

'The board believes that this offer could have a negative and destabilising impact on its stakeholders, including its customers, for a considerable period of time.'

Provident said its board, having considered the officer with its financial and legal advisers, believed the bid did not reflect the underlying value and upside potential of the company's businesses.

Non-Standard Finance on Friday claimed its offer had been formally supported by shareholders holding over 50% of Provident's share capital.

Non Standard is headed up by John van Kuffeler, a previous chief executive and chairman of Provident.

'The NSF board believes that the transaction would deliver significantly greater benefits for both Provident shareholders and NSF shareholders than either Provident or NSF would otherwise be able to deliver on their own,' Non Standard said at the time.

At 4:09pm: [LON:PFG] Provident Financial PLC share price was +25.5p at 614.9p

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