Private finance firm withdraws its 58.2p a share potential bid from the table
Apax Partners has withdrawn its potential bid offer for Woolworths, apparently because it felt the retailer was not providing enough information about the business.

An Apax spokesman said: 'In the course of due diligence, Apax has been unable to confirm certain key cash items and has decided that it will not proceed with an offer to acquire Woolworths.'

The retailer maintains it supplied Apax with a comprehensive account of its cash position and said: 'The [Woolworths] board is satisfied there is no further information that needs to be disclosed with regards to the group's cash position.'

The retailer added that in the absence of Apax's offer it would be recommending a 10 per cent increase on the dividend it will be paying to shareholders in June, subject to a shareholder vote at the retailer's AGM.

Woolworths chairman Gerald Corbett said: 'We are a large profitable cash-generative business and all of our energies remain focussed on running the business well and improving it for our shareholders.'