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BlueGem agrees terms of offer for Liberty

The boards of Liberty and private equity vehicle BlueGem have reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer for the luxury department store.

BlueGem, the vehicle run by the former managing director of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity Marco Capello, said today that it had created a newly incorporated company, wholly-owned by BlueGem called BGL to make an offer for the iconic store.

The offer consists of a 141.8p per share offer for Liberty, valuing the business at £32m, plus a special dividend of 44.2p per share to be paid on the offer being made unconditional. In aggregate, the deal equates to 186p per share or £42m. 

BlueGem said that BGL had received irrevocable undertakings from 86.2% of Liberty shareholders in relation to the deal.

The sale process has been the subject of very public wranglings in recent days with rival bidder Pyrrho Investments, the Hong-Kong based investor, which claims that its counter bid for 185p per share had not been fully considered.

Liberty’s directors will unanimously recommend that Liberty shareholders accept the offer.

In a stock exchange announcement the board of Liberty said: “The Liberty board which has been so advised by Cavendish Corporate Finance, in its capacity as Rule 3 adviser to Liberty, considers the terms of the offer to be fair and reasonable. In providing advice to the Liberty board, Cavendish Corporate Finance has taken into account the commercial assessment of the Liberty directors.”

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