SYDNEY (Reuters) — South Africa's Woolworths Holdings Ltd's $200 million bid to buy out Australian retailer Country Road Ltd shareholders was fair and reasonable, an independent expert said on Monday.
Woolworths welcomed the findings, which will help ease any shareholder concerns that it paid too much for the Country Road stake in order to remove a potential obstacle to its bid to take over Australian department store chain David Jones Ltd.
Last month, Woolworths offered to buy the near 12 percent stake in Country Road held by billionaire Solomon Lew, on the condition that its separate A$2.2 billion ($2.07 billion) bid for David Jones went through.
Lew had amassed a holding of just under 10 percent of David Jones and the Country Road offer was seen as an attempt to secure the David Jones deal, which was agreed by shareholders earlier this month.
Independent expert Lonergan Edwards and Associates said it valued Country Road at A$14.92 to A$16.22 per share, compared with the A$17 per share bid from Woolworths.
Not included in the valuation were benefits unique to Woolworths from buying out Country Road through the ability to grow the business faster and increased certainty about savings benefits, the expert said.
An Australian-based spokesman for Woolworths said Country Road and Woolworths shareholders could be happy with the deal.
"The offer is fairly priced from the perspective of both Country Road and Woolworths shareholders, reflecting the unique benefits that only Woolworths can derive from having 100 percent of Country Road as well as David Jones," he said in an emailed statement.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)