Battle for Currys: Elliott and vie for British electronics giant

Currys soars in London amid takeover prospects

British technology retailer Currys has surged more than 35% on the London Stock Exchange thanks to the prospect of takeover offers from US fund Elliott or Chinese online retail giant

"The Currys board confirms that it has received an unsolicited, preliminary and conditional offer from Elliott for a potential all-cash offer of 62 pence per share," the target company said in a statement.

That offer would have valued the company at more than £700 million (about €820 million), but "the Currys board unanimously rejected the offer" because it "significantly undervalues" the company, the statement said.

For its part, Elliott "confirms that it is considering a cash offer for Currys" but cautioned that "there can be no certainty" that a final offer will be made and on what terms, the fund said in a separate statement. also confirmed in its statement that it is "in the very preliminary stages of evaluating a potential transaction, which may include a cash offer for the entire share capital" of the UK group.

Currys sells home appliances, audio-visual, IT and telecommunications equipment both online and through a network of more than 800 stores in eight countries, including the UK, Scandinavia and Greece. The company employs 28 000 people.

The announcements boosted Currys' share price on the London Stock Exchange, which rose 35% to 63,70 pence, but the share price is still down nearly 15% year-on-year.

"Currys is the last major UK electrical retail chain with physical stores, making it a unique asset in the UK market," and "the battle (for its takeover) has begun," commented AJ Bell analyst Russ Mould.

But while the company has come out on top "due to its increased focus on customer service," it has also come under pressure from Amazon and other online retailers, as well as a purchasing power crisis that is affecting consumers' budgets, the analyst said.


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