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Steinhoff abandons bid for Argos at 11th hour

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Steinhoff saw Sainsbury’s £1.3bn bid for Argos, raised it (by £1.4bn) and then left the table.

South African conglomerate Steinhoff has pulled out of the race to buy Argos in favour of white-goods retailer Darty.

Steinhoff caused a headache for Sainsbury’s when it decided to weigh in on the grocer’s original £1.3bn offer for Home Retail’s catalogue arm.

The takeover panel gave both parties until 5pm today to announce a firm intention to bid or walk away.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, just 90 minutes before the deadline, Steinhoff said: "For the purposes of note 2 on rule 2.8 of the code and in the event that Sainsbury's announces a firm intention to make an offer for HRG during the current offer period, this announcement will be treated as having been made after the Sainsbury's firm offer announcement. 

The UK panel on takeovers and mergers has agreed that, notwithstanding the provisions of Panel Statement 2016/4, Steinhoff is no longer to be treated by it as a potential competing offeror for HRG for the purposes of the code and no further clarification announcement by Steinhoff will be required."

Will Sainsbury’s get what it’s wanted from the start?

Published on Friday 18 March by Veebs Sabharwal

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