CLEARWATER — Nicholas Financial (symbol: NICK) will continue to operate as a stand-alone company, rather than be acquired by a larger firm, the firm announced today via release.
In January, Nicholas responded to an unsolicited acquisition offer by retaining Hyde Park Capital Advisors and reviewing its long-term strategy. During the next three months, the firm received “several indications of interest,” Nicholas says, but decided that none of those offers were in the firm's or its shareholders' best interests.
Indeed, the strategy assessment inspired Nicholas to pursue the exact opposite of its original consideration: The Clearwater-based firm has now started to “review potential buy-side alternative opportunities,” a statement says.
Nicholas' stock has taken a hit since the announcement, falling more than 7% in per-share value. The company's shares began the year near the $10 mark, and then shot up above $12 after the unsolicited buy offer was announced. As of Thursday morning, Nicholas stock was trading at just less than $12.
Nicholas Financial provides direct-to-consumer loans from 56 offices in 14 states. Most recently, the firm opened two new offices in the Midwest. In its 2010 fiscal year, the company generated $56 million in revenues.