THE Newcastle private equity company trying to take over a major chain of Australian department stores has withdrawn its bid.
News broke on Friday that EB Private Equity, which is based on Tyneside and in Luxembourg, had tabled a £1.1bn offer for the David Jones business, which has stores across Australia.
Today, in an exclusive interview with The Journal, EB’s chairman John Edgar said that the bid has been withdrawn.
He said: “EB has withdrawn its offer for David Jones. It has become clear the board of David Jones didn’t want to engage with us. We have walked away completely.
“We worked for about four months on the deal with various advisors in the property and financial sector in Australia and here in the UK.
“The main attraction was the substantial property assets as part of their portfolio. We structured a deal that was a very workable deal in our opinion.”
He said the latest offer was the second made to David Jones after an initial bid, made around a month ago, was rejected as too low.
Until now, little has been known about EB Private Equity. Mr Edgar said this was the company’s policy.
“We are a very private outfit,” he said.
“A lot of private equity firms have pictures on their websites about the deals they have done.
“But no one knows about us. We only operate overseas, not in England or even Europe, in [places like] Africa and Australia.”
For the full story, see tomorrow's Journal.