Sainsbury’s signals it could bypass board in Argos bid contest

Published on: 4th March 2016

The retailer has indicated that it won’t stop pursuing Home Retail Group.

Sainsbury's-480Sainsbury’s said it could waive preconditions to making an offer, such as completing due diligence and getting a recommendation from Home Retail’s board. These conditions came after the retailer announced that it had agreed terms to acquire Home Retail in an offer valued at £1.4bn, which Steinhoff trumped with a higher all-cash proposal.

However, Sainsbury’s has said that there’s no guarantee the retailer will make a bid even if those preconditions are met or waived.

John Kershaw, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, said that the announcement “gives Sainsbury scope to go hostile and pitch direct to Home Retail’s shareholders.”

“Beating Steinhoff’s possible cash bid will be difficult, so we think Sainsbury wants scope to pitch the attraction of its equity story to shareholders in the event that the board of Home Retail doesn’t share Sainsbury’s view,” he added.

The company has until 18th March to either make a formal offer or to walk away under British takeover rules.


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