Just when you thought it was all over.
French retailer Fnac, which sells everything from consumer electronics to books and events tickets, has made a final offer of 170p a share for Darty, the electricals group that is listed in London but has the majority of its stores in France.
The latest offer comes after a frenzied spate of bidding last week when both Fnac and furniture retailer Conforama, which is owned by South African retail conglomerate Steinhoff, submitted offers in quick succession.
Fnac said its latest offer was its third and final and was pitched at 170p a share in cash although there would be a partial share alternative, where shareholders who opted for that scenario would receive one Fnac share for 25 of their Darty shares.
The offer is higher than the most recent bid from Conforama, which was pitched at 160p in cash. But Conforama is not throwing in the towel yet. It said in a statement in response to Fnac’s final offer:
Conforama is currently considering its options and urges Darty shareholders to take no further action at this time.
Fnac said its financial adviser, Rothschild, is satisfied that resources are available to the retailer “sufficient to satisfy full acceptance of the third increased final offer”.
The French retailer said in its latest statement that it has already acquired more than 48.7m Darty shares at a price of 170p each, equating to a stake of around 9.2 per cent in the London-listed company. In total Fnac holds more than 87.5m Darty shares, representing a holding of 16.53 per cent but it added:
In addition, as announced previously, Fnac has received shareholder support for the Third Increased Final Offer from Darty Shareholders holding in aggregate 22.11 per cent. of the issued share capital of Darty. Such shareholders have irrevocably undertaken to accept the Third Increased Final Offer and to elect for the Partial Share Alternative in respect of all (subject to scaling down in accordance with the terms of the Partial Share Alternative) of their Darty Shares.
Accordingly, Fnac either holds, or has received irrevocable undertakings to accept the Third Increased Final Offer in respect of a total of 204,659,917 Darty Shares, representing approximately 38.65 per cent. of the ordinary share capital of Darty.
Shares in Darty jumped following the announcement (see chart below), touching 173p before easing back slightly to 170.25p at publication time. The shares had closed at 163p on Friday.
Chart from Bloomberg
* The headline in an earlier version of this post mistakenly read “from Darty” as opposed to “for Darty”. Apologies.