Swedish fashion chain Lindex has received another takeover offer, this time from department store operator Stockmann, of SEK116 per share in cash.

The company, which last month urged shareholders to reject a SEK102 per share bid tabled by rival retailer KappAhl, has recommended the improved offer from Stockmann.

The total value of the Stockmann's offer, based on an aggregate of 68,750,000 outstanding shares in Lindex, amounts to SEK7.975bn (US$1.23bn).

"The offer from Stockmann has an acceptable level for the owners of Lindex, giving everyone a reasonable compensation for the work being made during the last couple of years on improving growth and margins," said Conny Karlsson, chairman of the board of Lindex. 

"Furthermore, we believe that Stockmann actively can contribute with their experience and know-how in order to accelerate our expansion in Eastern and Central Europe."

Stockmann CEO Hannu Penttilä added: "Stockmann and Lindex are two strong companies in their domestic markets.

"The combination of the companies will create an excellent platform to grow particularly in Russia and in other East European markets, where Stockmann already has a considerable presence with over 4,000 employees currently in the area."

Stockmann operates in Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, with gross sales in 2006 of EUR1.55bn and profit before taxes EUR129m.

Lindex, meanwhile, is one of Northern Europe's largest fashion chains with over 300 stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania selling women's lingerie, women's wear, children's wear and cosmetics.

Net sales of Lindex during the financial year ended 31 August 2007 were SEK5.3bn, with an operating profit of SEK475m.