Sunday 25 January 2015

Sunday review

Huge hat tip to Oliver Shah over at The Sunday Times for his scoop about Sir Philip Green putting BHS on the market. Here is a link to Oliver's piece:

I have to say the timing of Sir Philip's move to offload BHS is truly compelling - it comes just a few days after it emerged Mike Ashley had shuffled the ownership structure of his shareholding in Sports Direct, potentially allowing him to use his massive stake as collateral. I wonder what those two big beasts of the retail world might be up to?

Anyway, moving swiftly on - the other big M&A story of the weekend is the news about British Airways owner IAG submitting a formal raised its offer of EURO 2.50 a share for Aer Lingus, the Irish flag carrier.

It is being widely reported today that the Aer Lingus board is going to recommend IAG's offer, which I have to admit is a bit of a surprise to me.

I thought Aer Lingus would hold out for at least EURO 2.70 - EURO 2.80 a share given (according to my sources) IAG's advisers had previously indicated the airline may submit a third a third formal offer at these levels. Egg on face for me, I guess.

Still, if the Aer Lingus recommends IAG's EURO 2.50 a share offer for the Irish airline, and then a rival comes in with a higher offer, the takeover tussle could get very interesting. Very interesting, indeed.

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