Goldsmiths comes clean over Signet
Tuesday 28 March 1995
A war of words broke out yesterday between Signet, the troubled jewellery chain formerly known as Ratners, and Goldsmiths Group, its much smaller high street rival.
Goldsmiths was coerced by the Stock Exchange to issue a clarifying statement over the recent speculation, particularly in the weekend press, about its takeover aspirations towards Signet.
The company, headed by Jurek Piasecki, said it would consider acquiring parts of Signet in the right circumstances. It added that it had undertaken feasibility studies in conjunction with venture capitalists on the merit of acquiring parts of Signet's UK jewellery arm, but denied it was involved in negotiations with the group.
The denial of an imminent takeover bid by Goldsmiths cut short a rise in Signet's share price.
After touching 19p in early dealings, the price closed 0.75p higher on the day at 17.5p.
Mr Piasecki said later: "Signet's refused to talk to us. Signet cannot trade out of its current situation. They have to restructure or sell part of the US, or UK business.
"We have looked at the broader picture for Signet. At £100m it would be a snip, at £500m it would be too expensive. We are always interested in acquiring different units."
He said his overtures to Signet, which is valued on the stock market at less than £50m but considerably more if it was broken up, had been rebuffed for the past two years.
Not so, retorted Signet. A spokesman said: "That's completely wrong. If he [Piasecki] was to put forward an offer in the proper way then we would consider that. We have a duty to. However, he has not done that.
"The only think that Jim Muirhead [head of Signet] knows about it [a bid] is what he has read in the press. Goldsmiths is a £26m business, talking about a £250m business. It's an odd way to go about negotiations."
There were also unconfirmed reports yesterday that Signet was coming under more pressure from US preference share-holders to hold an extraordinary meeting to vote on proposals to try to find a buyer for the group.
The spokesman for Signet said that as of last night the company had yet to receive a formal request for a meeting, despite public protests by some US investors last week that they were mounting a campaign to break up the group.
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Three killed at South Korean nuclear reactor days after hackers target country's atomic agency
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...