Blog: A right royal battle
Leonie Barrie | 1 June 2004
It seems the widespread criticism of Marks & Spencer’s management team has finally been taken to heart by the board (see previous blog). Often panned for its layers of bureaucracy and inability to make speedy decisions, M&S yesterday threw down the gauntlet and effectively declared war on a £10 billion takeover bid by retail tycoon Philip Green. Stuart Rose has been brought in to take charge as the retailer sharpens up its act. So now it’s Rose, nicknamed the King Midas of British retailing for his golden touch when it comes to reviving struggling retailers, pitted against 'King of the High Street' Green who owns both Bhs and Arcadia.
The addition of Rose is considered a major coup, particularly with his experience in clothing retailing. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this-morning he said he wanted to restore M&S’s reputation for “good quality, good value, good service and innovation.” Whether Rose will be able to pursue this goal remains to be seen however, as he hasn’t been able to see off hostile bids in the past. Instead, he’s managed to squeeze out extra value for shareholders, which in itself is no mean feat. Green now faces a much tougher task in launching a successful takeover, and with its new appointment M&S has sent out a clear signal that it intends to put up a strong fight.
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