TDR Capital, the private equity firm that owns David Lloyd Leisure, has proposed an offer of 243p per share in cash, some 25% higher than where the stock closed at on Wednesday.
The proposal values BCA, which rejected a smaller offer from another private equity firm, Apax Partners, last summer, at £1.91bn.
Should TDR press ahead and firm up the offer, BCA’s board has said it will “unanimously” recommend that shareholders accept it.
The potential takeover would net under-fire fund manager Neil Woodford a much needed £136mln payday.
Payday for Woodford
Woodford Investment Management, which has drawn ire from investors after suspending a flagship fund earlier this month, owns a 7.15% stake in BCA and is the company’s third-largest shareholder.
In a brief trading update at the end of Thursday’s announcement, BCA said its full-year results, which are due next Wednesday, will be in line with expectations.
Bosses also confirmed their intention to propose a 6.65p final dividend alongside next week’s results.
BCA shares jumped 21.2% on the back of the news to 235.8p.