YEAR OF IN­TRIGUE

Finweek English Edition - - COVER -

9 APRIL: Wool­worths for­malises a AUS$4 per share of­fer for a takeover of David Jones. The of­fer is sup­ported by the David Jones board and trumps the nil-pre­mium merger of­fer made by Aus­tralian re­tail com­pany Coles Myer. The Coles Myer of­fer is with­drawn.

6 MAY: The takeover pro­posal is ap­proved by Aus­tralia’s for­eign in­vest­ment re­view body, clear­ing what many be­lieve is the fi­nal hur­dle to the deal.

9 MAY: Solomon Lew’s in­vest­ment com­pany, Aus­tralian Re­tail In­vest­ments, be­gins pick­ing up David Jones shares. The first ac­qui­si­tions are made through a com­plex web of hold­ing com­pa­nies to cover his tracks.

16 JUNE: In a one- day mar­ket raid, com­pa­nies linked to Lew pay AUS$104m for 26.8m David Jones shares. This takes his to­tal hold­ing to 53.1m shares, for which he has paid an es­ti­mated AUS$200m.

18 JUNE: In a sub­stan­tial share­holder an­nounce­ment on the ASX, Aus­tralian Re­tail In­vest­ments re­veals that it has ac­quired 9.89% of David Jones. This is Lew’s first pub­lic ac­knowl­edge­ment that he is be­hind the buy­ing. There is spec­u­la­tion that he could hold as much as 5.5% more via de­riv­a­tive swap con­tracts with Deutsche Bank.

30 MAY: Lew’s name ap­pears on the David Jones share reg­is­ter for the first time. Al­though he is only di­rectly linked to 0.65% of the com­pany’s shares, this im­me­di­ately sparks spec­u­la­tion that he may be po­si­tion­ing him­self to block the deal.

17 JUNE: At a spe­cial meet­ing, Wool­worths share­hold­ers ap­prove the AUS$ 4 a share of­fer for the en­tire listed cap­i­tal of David Jones. This paves the way for a vote on 30 June by David Jones share­hold­ers on whether to ac­cept the of­fer.

19 JUNE: David Jones an­nounces that it has post­poned its share­holder vote un­til 14 July to al­low its board to ‘as­sess the im­pli­ca­tions’ of Lew’s stake. The move is sup­ported by Wool­worths.

24 JUNE: Wool­worths an­nounces an of­fer of AUS$17 per share to buy out the mi­nori­ties in Coun­try Road. The of­fer is con­tin­gent on David Jones share­hold­ers voting in favour of its takeover of­fer.

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