Alexander Boksenbaum Granier and Pascale Denis
PARIS (Reuters) – Conforama plans to counter the offer of Darty Fnac, leaving little margins distributor of cultural and electronic products for power override
the French specialist furniture indeed offers to buy Darty with an offer. – still conditional – entirely in cash, while the Fnac has an important component in shares.
Former subsidiary Kering, Conforama can rely on the financial strength of its parent, the South African group Steinhoff International, who can afford a cash transaction and resume some 200 million debt Darty.
Conversely, Fnac, also after the lap Kering and initial public offering in June 2013, managed to recover in challenging markets and is debt-free. But its financial resources are unparalleled.
“The firepower of Steinhoff is not at all the same as Fnac and cash is a strong argument for the shareholders of Darty” one analyst who requested anonymity.
Moreover, he points out, Fnac pursued a strategy of strict control of its costs, its cash and “I do not see how they can counter this deal “.
Steinhoff weighs some 16 billion euros on the stock market, while the market capitalization of Fnac spring to 1.01 billion euros.
” A Conforama Darty and reconciliation would be more logical for Darty and its shareholders than with Fnac (…) We do not believe that Fnac will have the means to significantly raise its offer, at least in part the cash, “adds Paris market operator.
Conforama Darty be repurchased at a price of 125 pence per share, or 661.9 million pounds (851.4 million euros) based on Thomson Reuters data a valuation similar to that of the supply of Fnac, for 859 million euros.
Asked, Fnac has declined to comment.
the distributor household appliances and consumer electronics listed in London said it was studying the proposal.
in the agreement reached in November, Fnac, Darty who had also asked to introduce a part cash, proposed to shareholders an alternative home appliance distributor in cash, up to a maximum amount of EUR 95 million.
in exchange, the Darty share climbed 11.5% to 128.37 pence in London while Fnac stock lost 2.28% to 59.25 euros in Paris. For its part, Steinhoff took 3.16% in Frankfurt.
Conforama said it reserved the right to make an offer at a lower price to 125 pence per share with the agreement or Darty recommendation of the board or if a third party other than the Fnac group announced its firm intention to make an offer on Darty at a price representing less than 125 pence per share.
(With Marc Angrand; Editing by Matthieu Protard)