Takeover talks end for claims firm as potential buyer backs out

Talks over a potential takeover of claims handler National Accident Helpline have collapsed after the interested party decided not to make an offer.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, NAHL confirmed yesterday that it had agreed with wealth management firm Frankel Topping to terminate discussions after months of talks.

The basis and rationale for a combination of the two companies was first outlined in September and negotiations have continued since then, with a period of mutual due diligence. But Frenkel Topping said it had become apparent that a merger presents ‘certain commercial and integration challenges’.

The statement continued: ‘The board of Frenkel Topping believes that other growth and acquisition opportunities are more compelling at this time and in the best interest of its shareholders… [we] recognise that this is a disappointing outcome but, as a significant shareholder in NAHL, also wish NAHL the best for the future.’

NAHL made a follow-up statement stating that the group ended the financial year in line with its board’s expectations, with net debt reduced by a further £800,000 to £16.3m at the end of 2020. Cash flow has also increased in spite of last year's financial challenges. This was achieved through placement optimisation, increased settlements from historical claims and improved cost savings.

The company added: ‘The board remains committed to creating value from the group’s portfolio and will continue to actively review its operations and strategy.’

NAHL shares fell 5% to 40p yesterday (13th January) following the collapse of talks but recovered the same amount today.

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