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Destination Maternity Confirms Interest in Mothercare

A combination of the American and British firms would create a global platform for maternity, baby and childrens' businesses.

Destination Maternity Corp. confirmed today that it is interested in merging with British firm Mothercare plc.

This story first appeared in the July 3, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Philadelphia-based firm said it has made two non-binding offers that were both rejected by Mothercare’s board. Destination Maternity said it was making the disclosure per a requirement under the U.K. Takeover Code. The code also requires the American firm to disclose by 5 p.m. on July 30 whether it intends to make an offer, which must be within the guidelines of the code requirements or announce that it does not intend to make an offer.

The latest non-binding proposal was submitted June 1, which Destination Maternity said provides a strong basis to engage in talks. The American firm continues to evaluate its options in connection with a possible combination of the firms. The first non-binding offer was made on May 27.

The total value of the latest offer would value a transaction at $453 million, and the proposal called for the two companies to be owned by a U.K. holding company that would be listed in the U.S.

Ed Krell, chief executive officer of Destination Maternity, said, “We believe there is a compelling strategic rationale for a combination of Destination Maternity and Mothercare, which would create the undisputed global leader in maternity, baby and young children’s apparel and products.”

Krell added that the combined firm would “create a highly attractive opportunity to accelerate the growth and development of both businesses and generate substantial value for our respective shareholders.”

Destination Maternity’s apparel brands include A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity.