SYDNEY (Reuters) — Shareholders of David Jones Ltd, Australia's second-biggest department store by sales, on Monday backed a $2 billion bid by South Africa's Woolworths Holdings Ltd, ending weeks of uncertainty over the intentions of David Jones' second-largest shareholder Solomon Lew.

The takeover gives David Jones the financial firepower to ramp up its online offerings and in-store label, while helping Woolworths become a major global player with annual sales approaching $5.6 billion.

"We believe David Jones as an Australian icon will be better able to compete," David Jones chairman Gordon Cairns told about 500 shareholders at a meeting to vote on the scheme in Sydney. 


David Jones said 96.8 percent of shareholders had voted in favor of the deal at a special meeting on Monday. The vote ends a long-running feud between Woolworths and Lew, who emerged as David Jones's largest shareholder with a 9.89 percent stake just before the vote. Lew, a Melbourne-based billionaire, abstained from Monday's vote, meaning his votes were automatically redirected in favor of the deal.

A spokeswoman for Lew declined to comment.  


The 2.15 billion Australian dollar, or $2 billion at current exchange offer, means shareholders will receive four Australian dollars, or $3.8, per share next month. David Jones shares closed Monday up 1.3 percent or five cents at 3.98 Australian dollars, or $3.74, per share.

 

To access this article, click here to subscribe or to log in.

To Read the Full Article
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus