Bidder lambasts bosses at Sears
Thursday 21 January 1999
January Investments Limited, fronted by Philip Green and backed by the secretive Barclay brothers, points to Sears's failure to sell the Freemans mail-order business, the breakup of British Shoe Corporation at a cost of pounds 240m, and the failure to realise sufficient value from the Selfridges demerger. It says the once-proud department store has been reduced to a "property play".
The document says Sears management is in disarray with no chief executive, while Sir Bob Reid, group chairman, is distracted by six other jobs.
Calling on Sears shareholders to "accept the cash", it asks: "Do you have any confidence in the current management team - which has a track record of spending shareholders' money on reorganisations and aborted disposals without any demonstrable benefits for shareholders?"
January Investments, chaired by Aidan Barclay, is offering 340p cash per share, valuing the group at pounds 519m.
JIL is thought to be lining up possible buyers for Freemans, including Otto Versand of Germany and possibly N Brown, the Manchester mail-order group. N Brown is mulling a pounds 150m offer.
The document draws attention to the level of the offer, which is at a 35 per cent premium to the closing price in mid-December when the offer period relating to Mr Green's original approach began.
It says the certainty of cash should prove more attractive than the "jam tomorrow" protestations of the Sears board.
In conclusion Aidan Barclay says: "After years of presiding over the incredible shrinking company, the management... is now advising you to reject the certainty of a full cash offer in the current climate of retail uncertainty."
It adds that Phillips & Drew, which has already irrevocably agreed to commit its 22.3 per cent stake, "has already made its choice".
Sears shares closed yesterday 1p lower at 347.5p.
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Alan Henning: British Muslim leaders unite to urge Isis to release UK hostage
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000 first year: SThree: The SThree group i...
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...