Friday 04 December 1998
How the language flowed yesterday. The Takeover Panel should show the former Argos team the yellow card, he said. There were clear breaches of the rules and the ref should act. Failure to do so would turn bids into a car-boot sale, he fumed.
Let us look at the facts. In its early defence documents, Argos said sales in its five start-up stores in Holland were "ahead of expectations". Under the terms of the code, companies are supposed to inform the market of "any material change to any information". Having now got hold of the management accounts, GUS says sales in Holland were 40 per cent below forecasts by the end of the bid.
This is being disputed. Sales may have dipped below forecasts in some weeks, but taken cumulatively sales were ahead of expectations throughout the entire duration of the bid. Was this a change that should have been disclosed?
Having been turned down by the Panel once, Lord Wolfson has made a renewed approach, but his "fresh information" does not seem to have made the executive change its mind. Note, Lord Wolfson is not claiming that these allegedly misleading statements caused him to increase his offer for Argos. Nor is he saying that as a result he paid too much or that he has been sold a pup. But Lord Wolfson is not giving up. He is fighting on a point of principle which his advisers say is a "noble act".
If he loses, shareholders might think otherwise. He is already in danger of appearing vindictive. Using shareholders' money to fight a court case on a point of principle he looks unlikely to win, and which even he admits has inflicted no damage, would be a very strange act indeed. Lord Wolfson has had his tantrum. He should now shut up.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...