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Philip Day closes offer to acquire Bonmarché

Lauretta Roberts
27 June 2019

Retail billionaire and owner of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group Philip Day has closed his offer to acquire troubled value chain Bonmarché.

Day had previously issued an open-ended offer to the chain's shareholders for a £5.7m takeover, which the board of the company had recommended that shareholders reject.

However yesterday the board issued a trading statement to say that conditions had worsened at the retailer and that it was now recommending Day's bid.

This afternoon Day's investment vehicle Spectre said it was closing the offer due to concerns about the long-term viability of the business.

"In light of the Bonmarché board's latest trading update, Spectre now believes that the passage of time, and a further decline in the performance of Bonmarché, has eroded Spectre's ability to provide the advice, guidance and support needed to secure the long-term future of the Bonmarché business, its stores and employees.

"Spectre is especially concerned by the suggestion that PwC, Bonmarché's auditor, may shortly express uncertainty about the company's ability to continue as a going concern in its FY19 accounts.

"Spectre also notes Bonmarché's comments that the company has adequate liquidity only insofar as its bank continues to support it with a £5m overdraft and other facilities. Against a background of negative trading updates and declining financial performance, Spectre is concerned Bonmarché may soon no longer have facilities available to it," a statement said. 

Under stock market rules Spectre must keep its 11.4p a share offer open for 14 days until 12 July. If Spectre receives enough acceptances by this time to bring its holdings to more than 75% of the company, it plans to take Bonmarché off the stock market.

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