- South African retailer Steinhoff offers £1.4bn for Argos
- All-cash offer is higher than that made by Sainsbury’s
- Argos-owner Home Retail is reviewing Steinhoff’s proposal
South African retailer Steinhoff has thrown its hat into the ring for control of Argos after making a higher offer for the business than is on the table from rival suitor Sainsbury’s.
Steinhoff, in which billionaire retail tycoon and New Look-owner Christo Wiese is an investor, has offered 175p per share for Argos-owner Home Retail Group.
The all cash offer values Home Retail at £1.4bn, versus £1.3bn from Sainsbury’s whose offer involves shares as well as cash.
Sainsbury’s revealed its interest in Home Retail in January and was working towards a deadline of next Tuesday to proceed.
Home Retail said: ”The board is reviewing the Steinhoff proposal with its advisers and will make a further announcement in due course. Home Retail Group shareholders are advised to take no action at this time.”
He said earlier this month that a tie-up would “accelerate” Sainsbury’s multichannel strategy and “set Sainsbury’s up for the medium to long term”.
Coupe said the combined Sainsbury’s and Argos business would boast 2,000 stores, 100,000 non-food products and a “world-leading” distribution network, which would allow it to go toe-to-toe with the biggest players in the market.
That ambition may now be threatened by the interention of Steinhoff, which operates in the UK - where it owns the Harveys furniture chain - Europe, Africa and Australasia.
It describes its retail operations as ”positioned towards price conscious consumer segments, providing them with affordable products through a vertically integrated supply chain”.
The retailer has a main listing on on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and a secondary one on the Johannesburg exchnage and is capitalised at €18 billion.
Home Retail’s sale of its DIY business Hombase to Australian retailer Bunnings would not be affected by Steinhoff’s proposal - it is only interested in Argos.