Green's five questions that need answers before bid can proceed

Philip Green's £10bn bid for Marks & Spencer hinges on the answers to five key questions, which the retail baron intends to put to the M&S board today. The crucial due diligence questions, and the answers he receives, are key to Mr Green establishing an exact value for his bid, which will be couched at about 400p a share.

Philip Green's £10bn bid for Marks & Spencer hinges on the answers to five key questions, which the retail baron intends to put to the M&S board today. The crucial due diligence questions, and the answers he receives, are key to Mr Green establishing an exact value for his bid, which will be couched at about 400p a share.

People close to Mr Green yesterday acknowledged that the battle for M&S was now mainly down to price following the appointment of Stuart Rose as M&S's new chief executive. The move largely neutralised Mr Green's arguments that he and his team represented superior management talent. The other outstanding issue for shareholders is the size of Mr Green's own stake or "carry" in the investment vehicle set up to acquire M&S.

Experts believe that Mr Rose will reject almost any offer that Mr Green puts on the table unless it is at a huge premium to last night's closing price of 366p. This will make it uneconomical for Mr Green to proceed. However, as well as seeking answers to his questions, Mr Green and his bidding team are now embroiled in an unexpected court case with M&S over the use of legal advisers.

M&S yesterday afternoon won a temporary court injunction barring Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer from advising Mr Green because the law firm advised M&S on key contracts negotiated with George Davies, who designs the retailers Per Una range of women's clothing. Mr Green has until 10.30 this morning to lodge an application to seek permission to appeal the ruling. A spokeswoman for Freshfields said: "We are considering our position in consultation with our client."

However, Mr Green will also be busy putting the finishing touches to his initial approach to the M&S board. He will be seeking answers to key questions including: details of the company's property leases, the exact scale of M&S's pension fund deficit, the amount of committed capital expenditure that M&S has agreed to and the detail of supplier contracts including the Per Una contracts.

Mr Green needs answers to these questions before he can alight upon an exact value for his offer, although people close to the entrepreneur said there would almost certainly be some indication of an indicative price in his initial approach. Analysts reckon that Mr Green will bid at about 400p-a-share if he proceeds with an offer, which is not certain. M&S, following its surprise management shake-up over the weekend, was able to announce another piece of positive news yesterday when it said that it had received planning permission to redevelop its Baker Street headquarters.

The company is in the process of relocating to Paddington Basin and the redevelopment of the old Baker Street site is expected to leave the property worth about £400m.

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