GUS returns to attack on Argos
Friday 04 December 1998
Failure to do so, Lord Wolfson, GUS's chairman, said, would risk making a "car boot sale out of takeover bids".
Lord Wolfson said he would consider taking his case to the Department of Trade and Industry, the High Court and the House of Lords if his second approach to the takeover panel is turned down.
"Showing the yellow card would mean a public rebuke saying 'don't do it again'. If [the panel] don't do that it means economy with the truth is acceptable. We don't think that is a good regulatory regime," he said.
GUS's claims centre on statements made by Argos about its fledgling operations in Holland. Argos said initial sales were "ahead of expectations".
GUS claims that having obtained the management accounts it is clear that sales were substantially below forecasts and that Argos failed to reveal this to the market. Under panel rules "any material change in any information" should be released.
However, it is understood that cumulative sales at Argos in Holland were ahead of expectations throughout the duration of the bid, although they may have dipped below budget on particular weeks.
The former Argos directors deny any breach. The panel has also said it is satisfied the code was adhered to. It has written to GUS saying it will consider its renewed claim. However, it is understood that the panel has not seen anything in GUS's new claims to make it change its mind.
The comments came as GUS reported a sharp fall in first-half profits from pounds 261m to pounds 176.1m. This was in line with an earlier warning on profits which said that trading profit from the Argos and Metromail database acquisitions would be weighted towards the second half.
Argos sales in October and November were 4 per cent below the same period last year. The grim news forced GUS shares 25p lower to 549p, their lowest point since 1995.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...