New deadline set at 22 June as Alto completes offer arrangements

Cobra has extended the deadline for receiving a firm offer until 22 June to give its only suitor, Alto, more time to complete its offer arrangements.

The offer deadline was today, having been extended several times. The original deadline was 1 May.

Cobra said it is continuing to co-operate with Alto, which was created by Cobra chief executive Stephen Burrows. Alto has received credit approval for the funding to buy Cobra, but Cobra added: “Any offer remains subject to the satisfaction of various conditions precedent which are now being addressed.”

The company added: “In order to enable Alto to complete the arrangements for its offer, Fairfax I.S. PLC, acting for Cobra, has sought the takeover panel’s consent for a further extension of the relevant deadline.”

Under the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, a company under offer has to give suitors a deadline for submitting firm offers.

Broker consolidator Towergate was in the running to buy Cobra along with Alto, but pulled out on 18 May after what it said was careful consideration.

Towergate chief executive Mark Hodges told Insurance Times shortly after the decision: “We are a very disciplined acquirer of businesses. We didn’t take the decision lightly to go into the process, and we didn’t take the decision lightly to exit the process.”