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Sports Direct extends deadline in Findel offer

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Sports Direct has once again extended its offer for Findel until May 3 after it failed to win enough shareholder support.

Sports Direct, led by Mike Ashley, made an offer for Findel when its holding in the company reached 36.84% – passing the threshold at which it was obliged, under the Takeover Code, to make a formal offer for the company. Findel, however, says that the cash bid of 161p per share “significantly undervalues” its business, which includes the Studio and Ace value ecommerce businesses. It has advised shareholders to reject the offer. 

With two deadlines already passed, Findel said this week that Sports Direct had only received acceptances from shareholders owning 0.98% of Findel’s shares – taking the total it can count on to about 37.83%.

Sports Direct now extended its offer until May 3 at 1pm, at the same price of 161p. Findel said this week that Sports Direct will be able, under the provisions of the Takeover Code, to improve or change its offer until May 4, and will then have until May 18 to win enough take-up from shareholders. 

Sports Direct’s interest in Findel follows a pilot in which it sold its own licensed clothing brands on the Studio website, part of Findel’s Express Gifts business. When it announced its offer for Findel it said that the tie-up between the two was designed to improve Express Gifts’ offer for value conscious shoppers. It added: “Sports Direct continues to recognise the value and quality of the Findel business and sees the offer as an opportunity to give increased support to Findel to maximise the value of its existing business. The offer is as an effective way of expanding the commercial arrangements between Sports Direct and Findel and giving Sports Direct increased exposure to the future growth of the Findel businesss.”

If the offer were successful, Sports Direct, which is led by its majority shareholder Mike Ashley, would add Findel to a stable boosted in the last year by the additions of House of Fraser, Evans Cycles and However Sports Direct missed out on its ambitions to take over day-to-day control of Debenhams when the department store chain handed control to its lenders, via administration, in exchange for further funding. 

Sports Direct is a Top150 retailer in IRUK Top500 research

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