Fnac's Darty acquisition may face competition after all

Fnac's Darty acquisition may face competition after all

Fnac may face an unexpected competitor for its proposed Darty acquisition. South African store group Steinhoff International is willing to pay more to obtain electronics chains Vanden Borre and BCC's parent company.

“Uninvited proposal”

South African store group Steinhoff International is willing to acquire British electronics seller Darty for 662 million pounds (857 million euro), as the targeted company, which owns Belgian electronics chain Vanden Borre and Dutch electronics chain BCC, announced yesterday.

 

Darty's share value immediately shot up on the London stock exchange once the news broke. The South Africans are willing to pay 125 pence per share, more than what Fnac was willing to pay (122 pence per share).

 

Darty already agreed to Fnac's offer in November 2015, but says this Steinhoff offer was an "uninvited offer". It did emphasize it was unsure whether Steinhoff would actually lodge an official bid. 

 

Huge competitor

It is Steinhoff International's second attempt in a fortnight to break up an existing acquisition deal. Last week, it wanted to pay 1.4 billion pounds (1.8 billion euro) to acquire British Home Retail Group, after it had been announced last month that competitor Sainsbury's would become its new owner for 'merely' 1.3 billion pounds. 

 

Steinhoff's European activities include British sleeping specialist Bensons for Beds and French furniture chain Conforama. It employs 90,000 people worldwide in 6,500 stores across 30 countries.