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Findel rejects Sports Direct’s £140m takeover bid

Press Association
04 March 2019

Home shopping company Findel has rejected the advances of Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, saying the takeover offer undervalues the business.

It follows Sports Direct’s earlier announcement today of a £139.2m takeover bid for the company as the retail tycoon continues his acquisition spree.

Sports Direct said it had agreed to acquire six million shares in Findel at 161p each, taking its holding to 37% and above the 30% threshold that triggers a mandatory bid under UK takeover rules.

The bid for the remaining shares will also be at 161p, valuing the group at £139.2m.

However, Findel’s directors said the offer “significantly undervalues the Group and its future prospects”. The board recommended that shareholders take no immediate action.

Shares in the company were unmoved following Findel’s announcement on Monday afternoon, having risen more than 7% following Sports Direct’s offer.

Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, has been in acquisitive mood of late, snapping up House of Fraser and Evans Cycles out of administration, while also bidding for the likes of HMV and Patisserie Valerie.

The latest tilt comes after a successful pilot selling Sports Direct-licensed clothing brands on Findel’s websites, and a strengthening of commercial supply arrangements between the duo.

“Sports Direct continues to recognise the value and quality of the Findel business, and sees the offer as an opportunity to give increased support to Findel to maximise the value of its existing business.

“The offer is an effective way of expanding the commercial arrangements between Sports Direct and Findel, and giving Sports Direct increased exposure to the future growth of the Findel business,” the firm said in a stock exchange announcement.

Findel is behind website Express Gifts – which sells clothing, greeting cards, gifts, home and garden items – and Findel Education, a supplier of educational resources in Europe.

The firm reported revenues of £479m and a profit before tax of £22.1m for the year ended 30 March 2018.

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