Struggling van hire company Northgate is under pressure to sell its profitable Spanish division.
Disgruntled shareholders, including activist fund Crystal Amber, are said to have approached potential buyers. A deal could value the Spanish car hire business at around £617m. The whole of Northgate is currently trading at a value of just £547m.
Market commentators said that Europcar would be the most likely buyer for the Spanish business.
Stuck in a rut: The whole of Northgate is currently trading at a value of just £547m
Crystal Amber owns around 6 per cent of the business and is the fourth-largest shareholder. Schroders, which is the second-largest investor with around 8 per cent, and at least one other major institutional investor, are also understood to be keen for a sale to create value.
Northgate released its full-year results on Tuesday, which showed pre-tax profit down by 24 per cent. One investor noted that since September 2015, its shares have fallen more than 16 per cent while the FTSE 250 has risen by more than 20 per cent.