Marks & Spencer rejects £8.4bn Green bid

Billionaire retailer offers 370p cash or paper * Board says offer still 'significantly undervalues' group

Marks & Spencer last night insisted it was "not for sale"' as it rejected a revised £8.4bn takeover proposal from Philip Green, which it says "significantly undervalued" the group.

The company revealed it had received a fresh 370p a share cash proposal "in relation to a possible offer" from Mr Green yesterday afternoon. Any offer would include a "partial equity alternative", it added.

Paul Myners, the M&S chairman, said the proposal, which came less than two weeks after Mr Green made his initial indicative offer, did not "fully reflect the value of the business or its prospects".

He added: "We have to commit to doing what we judge to be in the very best interests of our shareholders. But an offer of 370p simply is not at a level that we could recommend for representing good value... the business is not for sale."

The board's swift dismissal puts Mr Green back on the back foot. He would not disclose whether he was prepared to launch a hostile bid. Today his camp is likely to put pressure on M&S shareholders to lobby the retailer's board to reconsider Mr Green's approach.

Mr Green's camp has spent the past week sounding out M&S's biggest shareholders, including its three key US investors, about what level he would have to pitch his offer for them to take him seriously. However, several institutional investors, including Isis Asset Management, have said that they would not be prepared to consider any bid worth less than 400p a share. Analysts have valued M&S, the UK's biggest trophy retailer, as up to 450p per share.

M&S shares, which were trading at about 270p three weeks ago, had soared 13.5p to 370.5p earlier in the day on speculation that the Bhs owner was preparing a fresh bid before falling back to close up 6.5p at 363.5p.

Under the terms of the proposal Mr Green's personal equity injection would have soared by £500m to £1.1bn, while his financial backers HBOS, Goldman Sachs and Barclays would have lifted the amount of equity they are committing to the bid to £1.9bn collectively. He said he had raised committed financing of £10.4bn. Mr Green said any offer would hinge on limited due diligence. He repeated his request for further information about four key areas of M&S business, including the state of the retailer's pension fund and the details of its contracts with the per una designer, George Davies. "He wanted greater granularity ... on a number of areas," Mr Myners said.

Goldman Sachs, Mr Green's financial adviser, contacted M&S at midday yesterday with details of the proposal from Revival Acquisitions, the entrepreneur's bid vehicle. At about 4pm Mr Green met Mr Myners and Stuart Rose, the M&S chief executive, in Grosvenor Square. The M&S board convened shortly after to discuss the approach, which they took less than two hours to dismiss.

Asked how Mr Green reacted to the rejection, Mr Rose said: "Philip was very professional, as you would expect him to be. We had a telephone conversation and he listened."

M&S reiterated that Mr Rose and his team remained set to unveil their blueprint for restoring the company's fortunes next month, two days before its annual meeting. "I am confident that when we talk to you on 12 July we will be able to outline operational improvements which we think will demonstrate the value in the business," Mr Rose added.

He admitted the group had not sounded out its shareholders' views before rejecting the proposal, but said its advisors were in constant contact with them.

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence