Bonmarche to be delisted after Philip Day’s stake grows to 93%

Bonmarche delist
// Philip Day’s company Spectre Holdings confirms plans to delist Bonmarche
// News comes after Spectre increased its stake in the retailer to 93% by Friday last week, the deadline it had set for its offer
// This means Bonmarche now has the power to buy out the rest of the shares

Philip Day has triggered a delisting announcement for Bonmarche after his company secured 93 per cent of shares in the womenswear retailer.

Spectre Holdings confirmed that by Friday last week – the deadline it had previously set for its takeover offer – it either owned, or had received valid acceptances, in respect of a total of 46.5 million Bonmarche shares.

This represented a 93 per cent stake in the retailer and means Spectre now has the power to buy out the rest of the shares.

City rules stipulates that the remainder of a business can be bought out once a shareholder gains a stake of more than 90 per cent.

Day’s firm also confirmed it was set to commence the process of cancelling Bonmarche’s shares from the London Stock Exchange.

“It is anticipated that such cancellations will take effect no earlier than 12 August 2019,” Spectre said in a statement today.

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner had made a £5.7 million, or 11.4p-a-share, takeover offer for Bonmarche in early April.

This came about after Spectre bought extra shares that increased Day’s stake in the retailer to over 50 per cent – which prompted a mandatory takeover bid as per City rules.

Bonmarche initially rejected Spectre’s offer but in June, it did a u-turn and said it seemed “more attractive” after a period of poor trading in the first quarter.

Spectre then placed a July 12 deadline on its takeover offer, and during the two-week period leading up the deadline it steadily increased its stake in Bonmarche.

Major stakeholders such as Artemis Investment Management and Cavendish Asset Management both offloaded their shares to Day’s holding company, as did chief executive Helen Connolly, finance director Stephen Alldridgeall and senior independent non-executive director Ishbel Macpherson.

Bonmarche has over 300 stores and concessions across the UK and was admitted to the AIM in November 2013, before moving to a main market listing in October 2015.

Spectre’s initial bid in April came on the back of a very tough trading period for Bonmarche, which had issued a profit warning in March – which had followed on from poor trading during the crucial Christmas season.

Day’s retail empire currently consists of chains such as The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Peacocks, Austin Reed and Jaeger.

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