Ceva Logistics has boosted its bid to buy Wincanton to over £802m, following an eleventh-hour expression of interest from a ”potential competing bidder”, Wincanton revealed today (26 February).

In a Stock Exchange announcement Wincanton said it has been approached by another bidder, but did not reveal any information on the interested party.

The haulier added that it will ”carefully” consider the terms of any formal offer from the new contender. However it added that the board remains unanimous in recommending Ceva Logistics’ increased offer.

Wincanton is now obliged, under Rule 21.3 of the Takeover Code, to provide the new contender with due diligence information, to enable it to decide whether or not to make a rival offer.

The statement said: ”Although the potential competing bidder has indicated that it is considering making a proposal, as of the date of this announcement, it has not provided the board of Wincanton with any formal proposal relating to a possible offer, including as to terms or price. 

”If any such proposal is provided by the potential competing bidder, the board of Wincanton will carefully consider its terms, in conjunction with its advisers.”

Wincanton also cautioned that there is no guarantee the rival contender will make an offer, nor any information on the potential terms.

It added: ”Accordingly, shareholders are advised to take no action at this time with regard to the approach by the potential competing bidder.”

The statement also noted that Wincanton’s directors are ”unanimously” recommending Ceva Logistics’ final cash offer, which it revealed has been increased. The company added that the recommendation by its directors ”has not been withdrawn, qualified or modified”.

In January, Ceva Logistics, which is a subsidiary of French shipping company CMA CGM, put in an original bid which valued Wincanton at around £764.9m on an enterprise value basis, which would see shareholders receive 450p per share in cash, a premium of around 52%.

Its latest increased and final offer price values Wincanton at approximately £802.7m on an enterprise value basis. This represents an increase of approximately 6.67% on 450p per Wincanton share.