Fleet News

Auto Windscreens sale to go right to the wire

BIDDING for up-for-sale Auto Windscreens could go right to the wire, with shareholders asked to choose between official and unofficial approaches to the company. In a scenario reminiscent of Volkswagen's late and winning bid for Rolls-Royce, a late charge for Auto Windscreens could be on the cards.

The company's parent Hayward Williams is understood to have granted negotiating exclusivity to HSBC Private Equity after the finance house tabled a bid of more than £70 million for the glass replacement business.

Hayward Williams is under pressure to sell Auto Windscreens as quickly as possible to relieve the debt from acquisitions made in April, but any sale would be subject to shareholder approval. This would give rival buyers, thought to include Kwik-Fit, the opportunity to gazump HSBC Private Equity by making a higher offer directly to Hayward Williams' shareholders.

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