Findel rejects Sports Direct’s £140m takeover bid

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Findel Sports Direct
// Findel board of directors reject £140m takeover bid from Sports Direct
// Takeover bid was triggered after Sports Direct raised its stake in Findel to almost 37%
// Sports Direct previously held 29% stake and raised it after buying 6 million extra shares
// Stock market rules stipulates that takeover bid must occur if shareholder’s stake rises above 30% threshold

Findel’s board of directors have unanimously rejected Sports Direct’s £140 million takeover bid, which was triggered after the Mike Ashley-owned retail company raised its stake through the purchase of six million extra shares.

In a statement, Findel’s board said that they had unanimously rejected Sports Direct’s takeover bid as it significantly undervalued the group.

The parent company of Express Gift, which trades online as Studio.co.uk, also urged shareholders to take no action.

A formal response is expected to follow once the offer document had been sent.

Yesterday, Mike Ashley’s retail empire snapped up the £9.66 million worth of shares in Findel from single shareholder City Financial Absolute Equity Fund.

Under the Takeover Code, Sports Direct had to make a cash offer for the remaining Findel shares at a price of 161p, valuing the online retail business at almost £140 million.

A company must make a takeover bid when it has a stake of more than 30 per cent.

A stock market announcement said Sports Direct would make the offer through an Offer Document and Form of Acceptance.

It also said it had no intention to make any changes to the Findel’s business and the employment of Findel’s staff and management.

Sports Direct, of which Ashley is the founder and majority owner, has been a major shareholder in Findel since September 2015.

Ashley has made no secret about his ambitions to expand Sports Direct, leading the firm through an acquisition spree since 2018.

The company bought House of Fraser and Evans Cycle out of administration, and won a bid to takeover Sofa.com.

The firm also has significant stakes in Debenhams and French Connection.

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