The war for Darty appears to be winding down to an inevitable conclusion, as the board unanimously recommends shareholders go for the "fair and reasonable" Fnac takeover offer.
“In evaluating the Fnac offer, the board of Darty has considered various aspects, including execution risk, and considers the final offer to represent a superior offer for Darty shareholders, as compared to other offers,” a statement from the retailer reads. Further cementing the board's decision is advice from Morgan Stanley, Lazard and UBS suggesting the final Fnac offer is “in the best interests of Darty shareholders as a whole.”
The acquisition of Darty has been dragging on for a while-- specifically since November 2015, when Fnac announced plans to buy the French retailer for £558 million. However such plans were set back in March 2016 with the appearance of Conforama, the French furniture chain owned by S. African conglomerate Steinhoff. The result was 2 months of intense bid-based sparring (one week saw 6 bids entered in a single day!), until Steinhoff threw the towel early in May 2016 with a final offer of 160p per share.
The final Fnac bid for Darty stands at 170p per share, an offer bolstered by French mass media company Vivendi buying a 15% stake in the company. The deal added €159m to the Fnac war chest.
In the meantime Darty sees positive times ahead-- the retailer reports fiscal Q4 2016 are up by 12% Y-o-Y (an improvement from the 2.7% growth seen in Q3), the result of "exceptional" performance in France and positive results through the "Confiance 4.0" multi-channel plan.
"We are ending a very good year with a climax," CEO Regis Schultz remarks.