After the markets closed on Friday 18 March, Sainsbury confirmed that they have made a firm bid for Home Retail, with an offer of 0.321 Sainsbury shares and 55p in cash for each Home Retail share. There would also be a special dividend of 27.8p.
Based on the closing price of Sainsbury shares on 17 March 2016, this values Home Retail Group in the region of £1.4 billion.
South African company Steinhoff had previously indicated their interest in bidding for Home Retail, however earlier on the 18th they issued a statement confirming that they will not be making a bid.
No formal acceptance of the offer has been issued, however Sainsbury did confirm that the "Board of HRG had indicated (prior to Steinhoff's interest) to Sainsbury's that it would be willing to recommend Sainsbury's offer" on these terms, which are the same as originally tabled when the news of a potential bid broke in February.
10 March 2016:
Trading at Argos improved, with like for like sales declining at a pace of 1.1%, compared to a fall of 2.0% for the second half and 2.6% for the full year. Total sales at Argos rose by 1.5%, largely due to new space, from the 94 digital concessions and collection points opened during the year. Argos gross margins improved by 75bp.
The new FastTrack rapid delivery service is gaining awareness amongst customers, with an improving performance. The proportion of sales involving a digital element continues to rise, to 51% compared to 46% in the same period last year.
Group underlying cash flow was significantly stronger than management expected, leading to a year-end net cash position of c.£310m, or c.£625m after the receipt of £340m from the Homebase disposal, less a £50m sale-related contribution to the pension scheme.
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