South African retail group Woolworths has trumped other bids with its offer of $4 per share to acquire David Jones. The David Jones board has recommended the bid worth just over AU$2 billion.
Founded in 1931, the South African listed retail group Woolworths Holdings is not linked to the Australian supermarket giant. Having been reportedly in talks since March following the change in chairmanship at David Jones, Woolworths South Africa does own a majority stake in Australian-listed fashion retail Country Road.
“I am pleased that the Woolworths proposal recognizes the attractive outlook for David Jones including the benefits that have and will flow from the continued implementation of our Future Strategic Direction Plan,” David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra said.
Prior to this, Myer and David Jones had been in discussions regarding a proposed merger; the deal was made public in January. Shares in David Jones have since jumped more than 10 per cent, while shares for Myer have fallen 10 per cent.
“In the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert concluding that the [Woolworths] Scheme is fair and reasonable and in the best interest of David Jones shareholders, the Board of David Jones unanimously recommends that David Jones shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme,” the company said in an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
Mid-June will see the shareholders opportunity to vote, the takeover will require a majority vote in favour of the deal from both David Jones and Woolworths shareholders.

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