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RNS Number : 8939A

PCF Group PLC

27 September 2022

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF THAT JURISDICTION.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF A FIRM INTENTION TO MAKE AN OFFER UNDER RULE 2.7 OF THE CITY CODE ON TAKEOVERS AND MERGERS (THE "CODE") AND THERE CAN BE NO CERTAINTY THAT ANY FIRM OFFER WILL BE MADE, NOR AS TO THE TERMS ON WHICH ANY OFFER WILL BE MADE

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION

27 September 2022

Update and Extension to period for receipt of Possible Offer

On 20 September 2022, the Board of PCF Group plc ("PCF" or the "Company") announced that it had requested and the Panel had consented to an extension to the date by which Castle Trust Capital plc ("Castle"), be required either to announce a firm intention to make an offer for the entire issued and to be issued shares of the Company (the "Possible Offer") in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or to announce that it does not intend to make an offer (the "Extension").

In accordance with that Extension, Castle is required, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on 27 September 2022, to make such an announcement.

Commercial terms on an all share offer with a cash alternative for minority shareholders have been agreed subject to the satisfaction of (or, where relevant, waiver of) certain pre-conditions inter alia completion of due diligence. In order to allow for the completion of due diligence, today the Board of PCF confirms that, in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code, PCF has requested, and the Takeover Panel has consented to, a further extension to the date by which Castle is required either to announce a firm intention to make an offer for PCF in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or to announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. At the current time the Board would be minded to recommend the offer if it is announced under Rule 2.7.

Such announcement must now be made by Castle not later than 5.00pm on 25 October 2022. This deadline can be extended by the Board of PCF with the consent of the Takeover Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.

There can be no certainty that any offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made nor that it would be recommended by the Board. A further announcement will be made in due course.

This announcement is made without the approval of Castle Trust Capital plc.

Enquiries

 
 PCF Group (via Tavistock Communications) 
 
  Garry Stran, Chief Executive Officer                + 44(0) 20 7920 
  Caroline Richardson, Chief Financial Officer         3150 
 
 Tavistock Communications                               + 44(0) 20 7418 
                                                        8900 
  Simon Hudson / Tim Pearson 
 
 
  Peel Hunt LLP (Financial Adviser, Nominated 
  Adviser and Joint Broker)                             +44 (0) 207 418 
  James Britton / Paul Shackleton / Oliver Jackson      8817 
 Shore Capital (Joint Broker)                         +44 (0) 20 7408 
  Henry Willcocks / Guy Wiehahn                        4080 
 

Disclosure requirements of the Code

Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Code, any person who is interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the offer period and, if later, following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s). An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the commencement of the offer period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a securities exchange offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.

Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror. A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person's interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s), save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8. A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) applies must be made by no later than 3.30 pm (London time) on the business day following the date of the relevant dealing.

If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a securities exchange offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3. Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4).

Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Takeover Panel's website at www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the offer period commenced and when any offeror was first identified. You should contact the Panel's Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129 if you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure."

Market Abuse Regulations

The information contained within this announcement would have, prior to its release, constituted inside information as stipulated under Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No.596/2014 as incorporated into UK domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (together, "UK MAR"). Upon the publication of this announcement via a regulatory information service, this inside information will be considered to be in the public domain. For the purposes of UK MAR, the person responsible for arranging for the release of this information on behalf of PCF is Garry Stran, CEO.

Publication on website

In accordance with Rule 26.1 of the Code, a copy of this announcement will be available (subject to certain restrictions relating to persons resident in restricted jurisdictions) on the website of PCF at https://pcf.bank/ promptly and by no later than 12 noon (London time) on the business day following this announcement. The content of the website referred to in this announcement is not incorporated into and does not form part of this announcement.

Other notices

Peel Hunt LLP ("Peel Hunt"), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, is acting exclusively for PCF and no one else in connection with the matters described in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than PCF for providing the protections afforded to clients of Peel Hunt nor for providing advice in connection with the matters referred to herein. Neither Peel Hunt nor any of its subsidiaries, branches or affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Peel Hunt in connection with this announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

This announcement is not intended to, and does not, constitute or form part of any offer, invitation or the solicitation of an offer to purchase, otherwise acquire, subscribe for, sell or otherwise dispose of, any securities, or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction, pursuant to this announcement or otherwise. Any offer, if made, will be made solely by certain offer documentation which will contain the full terms and conditions of any offer, including details of how it may be accepted. The distribution of this announcement in jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom and the availability of any offer to shareholders of PCF who are not resident in the United Kingdom may be affected by the laws of relevant jurisdictions. Therefore any persons who are subject to the laws of any jurisdiction other than the United Kingdom or shareholders of PCF who are not resident in the United Kingdom will need to inform themselves about, and observe any applicable requirements.

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END

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 27, 2022 11:57 ET (15:57 GMT)

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