Conforama drops out of the race for Darty, paving the way for Fnac

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Conforama has thrown in the towel after a heated battle for the chain (Source: Getty)

French furniture chain Conforama has dropped out of the race to buy Darty, leaving the track clear for rival bidder Fnac to takeover the electricals retailer.

The company, which is owned by South African retail conglomerate Steinhoff, said would not improve on its third and final offer of 160p per share because "it would no longer create sufficient value for Steinhoff shareholders, employees and other stakeholders".

The statement comes after Fnac tabled a final offer of 170p per share yesterday, valuing Darty at around £900m.

The electronics and music chain, which is looking to reduce its exposure to the declining DVD and books market, also confirmed that it has received support of more than half Darty's share capital after acquiring nearly 30 per cent of shares and receiving irrevocable undertakings from investors holding 22 per cent of Darty`s shares.

Conforama's exit brings an end to a fierce bidding war for Darty after the company gatecrashed takeover talks between Fnac and Darty last month.

It is also the second time Steinhoff and pulled out of takeover talks after walking away from Home Retail Group last month. Its majority owner, South African billionaire businessman Christo Weise, has been one of the most acquisitive players in the UK retail and leisure sector in recent years, buying companies including New Look and Virgin Active.

Read More: New Look confirms £780m sale to South African retail magnate

In a statement Conforama chief executive Alexander Nodale, said: "Our final offer of 160 pence for each Darty share reflects the evaluation criteria we use for all acquisitions, including return on investment and value creation. We remain of the opinion that, at this price, the Darty business would have been a good addition to the Steinhoff group of businesses but, at an increased price, it would no longer create sufficient value for Steinhoff shareholders, employees and other stakeholders."

Darty shares are currently unchanged at 168.25, having risen by more than 70 per cent over the last six months.

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