Billionaire retail veteran Brett Blundy has offered a takeover bid for Best & Less alongside Sanity's Ray Itaoui.
Just weeks out from the announcement that former THE ICONIC CEO Erica Berchtold was appointed CEO at Best & Less, the company has made headlines with a takeover offer from billionaire retail veteran Brett Blundy and (now online) music retailer Sanity owner Ray Itaoui.
The pair made a $1.89-per-share, cash offer for the chain on Sunday night. Prior to this, Brett Blundy already controlled a 16.45 percent stake in Best & Less as a non-executive director of the business. Private equity firm Allegro Funds controls 32.43 percent, with the firm supporting the takeover along with Best & Less executive chairman Jason Murray’s Bignor Family Pty Limited which controls 8.27 percent of the retailer. This support meets the minimum acceptance condition of 55 percent – inclusive of Blundy’s stake as the BB Family International Trust (BBRC).
“We received a non-binding proposal from a major shareholder to increase its holding in BLG. While the offer does not contain a ‘typical control premium’, we have received statements from both Allegro and Bignor that they each intend to accept the offer in the absence of superior proposal,” wrote lead independent director Stephen Heath in a statement by Best & Less.
“Accordingly, the IBC has determined that the Takeover Offer should be made available to all shareholders recognising that the decision as to whether to accept the offer or not will be based on individual shareholder preferences. We will carefully consider the proposal and provide a formal recommendation in our target’s statement, and we will also commission an independent expert’s report. That being said, we note that the offer will provide an ability for shareholders who wish to exit large shareholdings in BLG to do so in an orderly fashion without unduly impacting the Company share price. Similarly, the minimum acceptance condition also provides a real opportunity for all remaining shareholders who wish to remain invested in the Company to do so in an entity that, should control pass under the Takeover Offer, is ultimately controlled by Brett Blundy, an individual with a strong track record of delivering value in the retail sector”.
Brett Blundy is responsible for the success of Bras ‘N’ Things, Sanity, Lovisa, and is behind the scenes of a variety of Australian retailers with a fortune of over $3 billion, the enigmatic billionaire is a key player in the retail industry.
Ray Itaoui also made headlines early this year as it was announced beloved Australian music retailer Sanity would be shutting down all remaining physical stores. Itaoui acquired Sanity in 2009 from Blundy, who built up the chain from nothing.
Best & Less has confirmed that Erica Berchtold is still set to helm the business when she commences her role in September. Other conditions of the takeover are, no material adverse change and no legal or regulatory constraints, and no prescribed occurrences.
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