FURTHER INSPECTION: Australia’s corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, said Tuesday it is examining a proposed (and subsequently withdrawn) takeover bid for the department store operator David Jones Limited.
As reported, British and Luxembourg-based investment fund EB Private Equity for department store proposed 1.65 billion Australian dollars ($1.69 billion) for the retailer, an offer that became public last week, and prompted a surge in David Jones’ stock price. This came as investors questioned the credibility of the offer and some characterized it as a hoax. David Jones said Monday that the offer had been rescinded in the wake of the negative publicity.
ASIC said it had been monitoring developments closely since the offer was made first public. “ASIC is looking at potential issues regarding disclosure and trading in David Jones stock by domestic and international parties. ASIC’s priority is to ensure market integrity is maintained and that markets are fair, orderly and transparent and that if there has been a breach of the law, those responsible are held to account,” the regulator said.
In a July 2 letter to the Australian Securities Exchange, which David Jones has made public, the company said it had ensured it abided by the ASX’s continuous disclosure rules and defended the decision to eventually name EBPE as a bidder for the company.