Premier Investments has increased its offer for Just Group by AUD$0.15 per share, meaning the retailer's shareholders would receive up to $2.245 in cash plus 0.25 Premier shares for each Just share they own.

Premier, chaired by retail mogul Solomon Lew, first tabled its AUD814m (US$777m) offer for the clothing retailer in May.

Its new, and final, offer also stipulates that if Just shareholders register by 29 September they will be offered Premier's dividend of $0.18 per Premier share.

The increase depends upon Premier's relevant interest in Just Group growing to 90% during the offer period, a statement said today (23 July).

Lew said: "Despite Just announcing on 2 July 2008 that it had downgraded its FY2008 earnings forecast by 10-15%, Premier has maintained its existing offer, extended participation in Premier's final dividend to Just shareholders and announced that it will pay an extra 15 cents cash per share to all Just shareholders if Premier is in a position to acquire 100% of Just."

However, a Just Group spokesperson said of the new offer: "The Special Board Committee is carefully evaluating Premier's announcement.

"On an initial review of the documents received, Just Group notes that Premier's core offer has not improved and the new conditions that have been introduced mean that there is no certainty that any additional consideration will be payable."

The Just Group special board committee unanimously recommended that shareholders reject Premier's initial offer, saying it "materially undervalues Just Group".