Analysts rue ‘missed opportunity’ for GB Group as prospect of a new takeover bid remains
Panmure Gordon said it believes GB Group remains one of the ‘highest quality UK technology stocks’, despite a ‘relatively poor year’
Analysts have rued a “missed opportunity” for identity verification specialist GB Group (GBG) and said another takeover bid “should not be ruled out”.
Experts at Panmure Gordon have also said GBG’s growth has “continued to disappoint” during the second half of its financial year but that things should pick up in the future.
The briefing note comes after takeover talks between the Chester company and a Chicago-based private equity firm ended in October last year.
In its half-year accounts, which were released in November, the group also hailed the “excellent strategic progress” it made during the first half of its financial year despite its profits being wiped out.
GBG employs around 1,200 people and works with the likes of Volvo, HSBC, eBay, John Lewis, ASOS, Lego, Santander and IBM.
Alasdair Young of Panmure Gordon said: “GBG’s growth has continued to disappoint in H2, with FY23E revenues set to be c5% light vs expectations.
“Ultimately, we maintain our view that the slowdown is due to macro and the transactional nature of revenues rather than any loss of market share.
“Nevertheless, the January CMD [capital markets day] was a missed opportunity to dispel said doubts.
“Growth should reaccelerate, operating margins remain in excess of 20%, and the rating of 20x EPS (March YE) is undemanding. The prospect of another approach from PE (or trade) should not be ruled out.”
He added: “Notwithstanding a relatively poor year, we believe GB Group remains one of the highest quality UK technology stocks.
“Based on the assumptions that the business is not losing market share to competitors, we remain staunch buyers with the shares at five-year lows.”
On the prospect of another takeover bid emerging, Mr Young said: “We would not be surprised if GBG received another approach from PE [private equity], but in our view, a trade sale would arguably make more sense given the potential revenue/cost synergies.”
Original article here: https://www.business-live.co.uk/technology/analysts-rue-missed-opportunity-gb-26320729
Author: Jon Robinson, North West Business Editor
Director, Research Analyst, Technology