Matalan MBO deadline extended

The Takeover Panel has extended the deadline for John Hargreaves to clarify his intentions on making a bid for UK retailer Matalan from noon on September 12 to noon on October 11.

Matalan’s shares stood at 173.75p at the time of the announcement, valuing its share capital at £708m (US$1.34bn).

The extension has been approved by Matalan’s independent committee “to allow Mr Hargreaves further time to work on a possible offer for Matalan of 200p per Matalan share in cash. Mr Hargreaves reserves the right to make an offer at a price of less than 200p per Matalan share provided that such offer is recommended by the independent committee,” it said.

John Hargreaves founded Matalan in 1985 and floated the company in 1998. He still owns 28.05% of its shares, while his son Jamey holds 8.94%, his daughter Maxine Adams holds 7.58% and his son Jason holds 1.36%.

Hargreaves’ intention to launch a public-to-private MBO was announced on June 30 2006, following a disagreement over the level of cover available for the proposed dividend.

Hargreaves, who is being advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, is reportedly being backed by Barclays Capital.

Quentin Carruthers