Steinhoff does it again
South African retailer Steinhoff has submitted an unsolicited $924m bid for the French electronic retailer Darty – which will be the second time in less than a month that it has gate crashed a major acquisition in the European retail sector. Darty had agreed on 20 November to an offer from fellow French retailer Groupe FNAC – but the deal has been slowly moving through the EU regulatory process.
Steinhoff is already active in the French market through its ownership of furniture retailer Conforama. The “possible offer” has actually been submitted in the name of Conforama.
In its official notification about the proposal, Steinhoff said: “The Board of Conforama believes that the successful completion of the All Cash Possible Offer will create a leading French household goods retailer, operating under well established and complementary retail brands.
“Conforama envisages that the enlarged retail offer would benefit both sets of customers in furniture and household goods and electronics, providing a seamless solution for each room of the home.
“Furthermore, the transaction will create an exciting opportunity for Darty management and employees to join Conforama, one of Europe’s leading household goods retailers, with a strong French focus.”
As previously reported, on 22 February Steinhoff announced that it planned to make an offer for Home Retail Group, the owner of the UK retailer Argos, which had already been the subject of a provisional offer from Sainsbury’s.
Both Steinhoff and Sainsbury’s have a deadline of 18 March to submit firm offers.
Sainsbury’s is understood to be particularly interested in Argos because of the potential for ramping up its home delivery infrastructure.