Deadline may be extended a third time if acceptance level is not reached

Private equity consortium Achilles’ bid for Lloyd’s insurer Brit is still on track, despite having to extend the deadline for shareholder approval, according to equity analysts.

Achilles is seeking acceptance from 95% of Brit’s shareholders of the £10.75 a share offer. However, at the original 27 December deadline, the consortium had only received valid acceptances from 70.78% of shareholders. At an extended deadline of 10 January, the level of acceptances was reported at 70.49%. The deadline has now been pushed back to 22 January.

The acceptance level was lower at the second deadline because an erroneous acceptance was included in the previous figure.

Shore Capital analyst Eamonn Flanagan said: “We are not reading anything negative into that,” he said. “It is a formality and these things just take a bit of time.”

Achilles could extend the deadline further if acceptance remains below 95%. It also reserves the right to lower the acceptance threshold.