Subprime loan company Non-Standard Finance has decided to withdraw its £1.3bn hostile takeover bid for Provident Financial, the UK's largest payday lender.
NSF announced late on Tuesday that it would not go ahead with the bid, allowing its offer for the Provident "to lapse," just hours ahead of the deal deadline at midnight on June 5.
In a statement NSF said that after discussions with regulatory authorities, it had come to the conclusion that conditions for the offer "will not be satisfied by midnight on 5 June 2019, the last time by which all conditions to the offer must be satisfied or waived."
The company added: "Accordingly, NSF has decided, with the consent of the Takeover Panel, to lapse the offer."
"Therefore, as of midnight on 5 June 2019, the offer will lapse and will not be capable of further acceptance and Provident Shareholders who have accepted the offer will cease to be bound by such acceptances."
The Competition and Markets Authority launched an inquiry into the bid on May 28 and would have announced whether or not it would refer the takeover for a Phase 2 investigation by July 23.
NSF now expects the costs for the aborted transaction will be up to £12m, and be treated as an exceptional item in its 2019 half-year results.
As recently as a fortnight ago John van Kuffeler, NSF's group chief executive- and Provident's former boss - said he was confident the group's hostile takeover bid for rival Provident Financial would succeed, after NSF managed to secure the support of Provident investors holding 53.53% of the payday lenders voting stock.
The bid had been supported by Provident shareholders including Invesco, Marathon and the troubled Woodford Investment Management fund.
Mr van Kuffeler said on Tuesday: "I am very disappointed that despite our best efforts customers, employees and shareholders will not now benefit from our transformation plan to build a brighter future by combining Provident with NSF.
"I wish to thank our shareholders for their support and all of NSF's staff and self-employed agents for their continued dedication.
NSF will continue to focus on delivering value to its customers, employees and shareholders by providing a helping hand to the 10-12 million UK consumers that are either unable or unwilling to access mainstream credit.
Provident Financial has had rocky recent past which may have left it vulnerable to takeover, including a profit warning in January
Following a rise in bad loans, Provident stock had fallen more than 70% over two years and was at the centre of various investigations by regulators.