Blog: Leonie BarrieM&S takeover bid hots up...

Leonie Barrie | 3 June 2004

The M&S takeover battle was always going to be one of the highlights of the summer, but less than a week in and the pace seems to be really hotting up. The appointment of Stuart Rose as the new chief executive was a clear sign that M&S intends to fight for all it’s worth and some pretty heavy salvos have been flying already. Not only has M&S won a ruling blocking Mr Green's lawyers from advising him due to a conflict of interest, but an offer of around £9 billion has been rejected on the grounds that it “undervalues the group.”   

The speculation now is whether Mr Green will return with an improved offer, and whether shareholders buy into his vision for returning M&S to its former glory. Judging by the questions he’s asking on the exact nature of the agreement between M&S and George Davis’ Per Una line, some sweeping changes could be in store. The saga could unfold in other ways too. For instance, are other bidders likely to step into the fray? Or does the new management team have the ability to revive the business after several years of failed attempts by their predecessors? That’s the gamble the shareholders must take of course.


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