Sears braced for bid from Green

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The Independent Online
SEARS, the struggling retail group, is braced for a takeover bid as speculation mounts that Philip Green, the retail entrepreneur is preparing a pounds 460m move this week.

Sir Bob Reid, the Sears chairman (pictured), said yesterday: "I think he'll probably have a go this week but we'll have to wait and see. It would be surprising if, after all this talk, there isn't something there. I'm expecting something during the course of the next few days."

Sears confirmed that its advisers have been in touch with the Takeover Panel about pushing Mr Green to clarify his intentions. Sir Bob said he was concerned about being dragged into a negotiating process where the actual offer price bore little resemblance to the original headline figure. "I don't want someone coming in with a top-line figure, then after the due diligence process, making an offer of 25 per cent less."

Sears shares fell 14.5p to 267p yesterday as the group's largest shareholder, Phillips & Drew, reduced it holding to 23.85 per cent.