FIGHTING a war of patience
FOR 17 YEARS Australian billionaire Solomon Lew sat on his 11.88% stake in Country Road. For most of that time the share price went nowhere. There was so little volume in the counter that Australian analysts didn’t pay it much attention. But Lew, it seems, had a game plan. Somewhere down the line, somehow, he was going to make that stake pay. And now it appears that that time has arrived.
Woolworths just announced a
AUS$ 213m ( R2.13bn) offer for t he 12.12% of Country Road it does not already own. The offer of AUS$17 per share is around 10 times what Lew paid for his interest back in 1997. It seems an amazing windfall for someone who is already one of Australia’s richest men. But to understand how things got to this point, one needs to trace the story back to its beginning.