High Street

Schroders backs Findel’s rejection of Sports Direct takeover

Fund manager Schroders has backed Findel’s rejection of Sport’s Directs £140m takeover bid, saying it “significantly undervalues” the future prospects of the company.

Schroders said it remains “supportive of Findel” and its management team and the “operational and financial progress” that the home shopping company has made under the leadership of Phil Maudsley and Stuart Caldwell.

It said it “carefully considered the merits of the offer” and the arguments advanced by the board of Findel for its rejection, but agreed with the conclusion of the Findel board that the offer “significantly undervalues the future prospects of Findel and as such,  [its] current intention is not to accept the offer on the terms proposed”.

Findel’s board of directors unanimously rejected Sports Direct’s bid earlier in March, and it came after the company agreed to buy shares in Findel worth £9.7m, taking its stake in the Accrington-based business from 29.9% to 36.8%. Under takeover rules any investor who acquires more than 30% must make a bid for the whole company.

Ian Burke, chairman of Findel said: “We are grateful for the support of our second largest shareholder in Schroders, and continue to recommend strongly that all other shareholders take no action in respect of the offer from Sports Direct.”

It comes as one of the latest moves in Ashley’s spending spree which has seen him acquire Evans Cycles, House of Fraser and, before unsuccessfully attempting to buy HMV.

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