Philip Day, owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, is closing his offer to buy the remaining shares in Bonmarché, following poor trading at the retailer.
In April, Day’s Spectre Holdings purchased 52.4% of Bonmarché’s ordinary shares, triggering a mandatory takeover bid. Spectre offered to buy the remainder of the shares for the price it paid, 11.45p.
At the time, Bonmarché’s directors unanimously recommend they reject the offer, which they said “materially undervalues” the company. However, following a difficult first quarter, yesterday the board said the offer was “more attractive in the short term”.
Spectre has now said it is closing its offer to buy the remaining shares at 11.45p, because the future of the business looks uncertain.
In a statement, Spectre said: “In light of the Bonmarché board’s latest trading update, Spectre now believes that the passage of time, and a further decline in the performance of Bonmarché, has eroded Spectre’s ability to provide the advice, guidance and support needed to secure the long-term future of the Bonmarché business, its stores and employees.
“Spectre is especially concerned by the suggestion that PwC, Bonmarché’s auditor, may shortly express uncertainty about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern in its FY19 accounts.”
Spectre must give 14 calendar days’ notice before closing the offer. As a result, the offer will close at 5pm on 12 July. Until that point, Spectre is obliged to buy any shares that become available.