Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Speculation Mounting on Matalan Takeover

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Speculation Mounting on Matalan Takeover

Article excerpt

Speculation mounted over the weekend over when Matalan founder John Hargreaves would table a bid to take the company private and how much he would be prepared to pay.

Mr Hargreaves, who founded the discount clothing retailer more than 20 years ago, is understood to have lined up Barclays Capital to back his bid, and could make an offer as early as tomorrow.

But while there was speculation that he could offer as much as 220p per share, which would value the group at just over pounds 900m, other analysts thought his offer would come in at only 170p to 180p per share, or possibly 190p.

The lower end of the estimate would give shareholders only a tiny premium on the 169p Matalan's share's closed at on Friday.

The group, which is based in Skelmersdale in Lancashire, has seen its share price more than half from its peak of around 400p in 2002 as it has been hit by competition in the cut-price clothing sector from supermarkets, but it has been boosted recently by takeover speculation. …

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