GUS takes aim at Argos's performance in bid battle

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The Independent Online
GUS takes aim at Argos's performance in bid battle

Great Universal Stores went on the offensive yesterday in its hostile pounds 1.6bn takeover bid for Argos, claiming an independent Argos would come "nowhere near" its proposed offer price of 570p. In its formal offer document, GUS's chairman, Lord Wolfson pointed to Argos's lower like-for- like sales growth in the second half of last year despite a further expansion of the range and a lower gross margin. "In our view Argos's prospects on a stand-alone basis come nowhere near to supporting a share price today of 570p."

Argos hit back, saying the GUS offer was inadequate and that it was trying to buy Argos on the cheap. Argos shares closed 5p lower at 606p. Great Universal Stores edged 2.5p lower at 747.5p. The first closing date for the offer is 9 March.

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