Threat to Delist Helps Poon Bag Harvey Nicks

Article excerpt

THE HONG Kong entrepreneur Dickson Poon clinched victory in his pounds 137.5m takeover bid for Harvey Nichols yesterday when a key dissenting shareholder decided to accept the offer.

However, one leading fund manager said Mr Poon had "repurchased a quality asset at a discount price" after threatening to delist the upmarket department store retailer if the offer was rejected.

Mr Poon already holds 50.1 per cent of Harvey Nichols and had bid 250p a share for the remainder. Mr Poon needed the support of 90 per cent of the total equity in order to purchase the remainder compulsorily.

He fell short of that yesterday, securing 53.49 per cent of the minority and 76.79 per cent of the total, with Deutsche Asset Management voting its crucial 14.9 per cent stake against the bid.

But Mr Poon's threats to delist Harvey Nichols forced Deutsche and other dissenting investors to change their minds and accept the cash.

"We don't believe it's in the interests of our clients to be minority investors in an unquoted company and therefore will be accepting the offer," a spokeswoman for Deutsche said. …