Katies, Millers owner confirms takeover bid

SpecialtyFashionGroupUPDATE: Specialty Fashion group has confirmed that it has received a takeover bid from Qatar based investment company Al Alfia Holdings WLL.

The deal would result in the ASX-listed retailer becoming a private company, with the undisclosed investment company offering 70 cents a share in a bid that values the company at about $135 million.

Specialty Fashion’s share price jumped over 25 per cent, or 13 cents, to 66 cents at 16:10 AEDT following the news.

Specialty Fashion says it has granted the bidder access to its books for due diligence but there is no certainty any deal will go ahead as a number of conditions need to be satisfied.

The clothing group is being advised by Luminis Partners as financial advisor and Arnold Bloch Leibler as legal advisor.

The group’s acquisition of troubled clothing chain Rivers in 2013 has been a drag on earnings, however Rivers’ losses had halved during the 2016 financial year in a sign its fortunes are turning around.

The company, which also owns clothing brands City Chic, Autograph and Crossroads, has previously said it expected Rivers to begin turning a profit during its 2017 financial year.

Specialty operates 1066 stores in Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa and 29 concessions in Myer department stores.

In September last year, SFG announced it’s building a 32,000sqm distribution centre to cater for the growing e-commerce market.

According to Bloomberg, Al-Alfia Holdings operates a greasing plant which produced lubes and greases in Doha, Qatar.

This story first reported that Specialty Fashion Group had received a takeover offer from a Middle Eastern investment firm, they have since updated the market on the identity of the prospective buyer.

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