Board recommends new bid from Bank of Scotland-led consortium as £1bn bid from Mars Bidco is withdrawn

The bidding war for retirement homes specialist McCarthy & Stone has continued after the board recommended a £1.1bn bid from a consortium led by Bank of Scotland, the Reuben Brothers and retail Tycoon Sir Tom Hunter.

A previous recommendation of a £1bn bid made by consortium Mars Bidco, a private equity joint venture between Permira and Barclays, has been withdrawn, the board announced.

The Bank of Scotland-led consortium, Mother Bidco, made an offer of £10.75 per share, beating Mars Bidco’s £10.30 bid.

Keith Lovelock, chief executive of McCarthy & Stone, said the new bid was ‘fair and reasonable’ and the board had no hesitation in recommending the bid to shareholders.

"[Mother Bidco’s bid] represents a significant increase in value for shareholders compared to the previous offer," he said.

However it appears the bidding war may not be over yet, with other consortiums still circling. A third possible bid from Vincent Tchenguiz has yet to be ruled out.