It has emerged that Hedin Group tabled a secret 28p-a-share offer for Pendragon several weeks ago. Pendragon chair Ian Filby and the board rejected the approach.

The offer would value Pendragon at around £400m. Auto Retail Agenda has reported Hedin has been building its stake in Pendragon since November 2021.

Anders Hedin is now reportedly considering a further offer.

Hedin already owns 25% of the franchised dealer group and has recently been critical of its board. Pendragon is not reimbursing government furlough payments but last year awarded a bonus payment to CEO Bill Berman, which Hedin described as “out of tune”.

The retailer announced a new strategy in September 2020 and has since reduced sales roles by 1,800 and closed 15 stores. Standalone used car brand CarStore was relaunched in December 2021.

Pendragon founder Trevor Finn joined Hedin’s board in 2021, after being ousted from Pendragon in 2019. Hedin also bought 47-retailer Netherlands group Stern in December 2021.

When contacted by Auto Retail Agenda, a Pendragon spokesperson declined to comment on the Sky News story. The company will publish its full year 2021 results on Wednesday; its most recent market update saw PBT guidance upgraded form £70m to £80m.