Philip Green considers £9bn offer for Marks & Spencer

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The Independent Online

Philip Green, the billionaire retailer, is set to raise his bid for Marks & Spencer as soon as this week, coming back to the table with an expected offer of more than 380p a share, valuing the company at about £8.8bn.

Philip Green, the billionaire retailer, is set to raise his bid for Marks & Spencer as soon as this week, coming back to the table with an expected offer of more than 380p a share, valuing the company at about £8.8bn.

M&S rejected an initial proposal of about £7bn in cash plus a 25 per cent stake in Mr Green's bidding vehicle, Revival, earlier this month, saying it undervalued the group.

The company's largest shareholders were also reported to have been unhappy with the offer, most of whom have said they would not consider offers below 390p to 400p a share, which values the company at more than £9bn.

Mr Green has indicated he is reluctant to take his bid above £9bn, pointing out that the share price has increased by more than one-third since talk of his bid first emerged earlier this month.

However, some investors are keen to see what the company's new management, led by Stuart Rose, can do with the business.

Mr Rose, the former Arcadia executive who sold the fashion group to Philip Green in 2002, was parachuted in as the chief executive two weeks ago, replacing Roger Holmes, who was ousted from his post along with the chairman Luc Vandevelde last month.

Mr Green refused to comment on whether he was considering another bid. A spokesperson for M&S said: "The ball is in Philip Green's court, and we will respond to him as and when we hear from him. Until then, it is business as usual."

Mr Rose is believed to be considering a sale of some of the company's assets, such as M&S Money, as well as a move back to focusing on the company's traditional older customer base. He is reported to have said it is a waste of resources focusing on the 17 to 25 age range, who are "never going to shop at Marks & Spencer".

Meanwhile, it emerged this weekend that Mr Rose has commissioned a revaluation of the troubled retailer's property portfolio, which was last valued after the commercial property boom of the late 1980s.

At the time, it was deemed to be worth some £2.2bn, but is now expected to be valued at more than £3bn - money that the new management is reported to be planning to unlock and potentially return to shareholders.

Since taking up his position, Mr Rose has already sacked Vittorio Raddice, the head of the company's clothing division, who will be replaced by Kate Bostock, the former Asda executive, who is to join the group later this year. Mr Rose is expected to detail the rest of his strategy for turning around the group, at the company's annual meeting on 12 July.

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