French electronics chain Darty, which owns Belgian Vanden Borre and Dutch BCC, will not join Fnac. It has decided to accept Steinhoff International's bid, which means French furniture chain Conforama's South African parent company will become its new owner.
Preferred cash to "cash + stock"
How things can change: Darty agreed to an acquisition bid from French entertainment group Fnac only last November, but an unsolicited informal counter bid arrived in March, from South African Steinhoff. Conforama's parent company, listed on the London stock exchange, proposed to pay the exact same amount, but entirely in cash, while Fnac offered a deal containing cash and stock.
Darty's board announced on Friday that it would "tell its shareholders unanimously to accept Conforama's offer". This means David loses out to Goliath as Steinhoff International is worth 20 billion euro on the stock exchange, while Fnac is merely wort 1.01 billion euro.
Two complementary store chains
Conforama, Franc's second largest furniture chain with a 15.7 % market share following Ikea, hopes to create synergies in purchasing and logistics with this deal. 40 % of Conforama's total turnover (3.2 billion euro) comes from televisions, dish washers and other household appliances.
Both store chains also seem to be a geographical fit. Darty is mostly active in city centers and shopping centers, while Conforama focuses on roadside stores. Darty has 263 stores in France, while Conforama has 204. Fnac on the other hand has 116 stores in France.