Qatar not considering bid for Marks & Spencer - source

DUBAI/LONDON Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:16pm IST

A woman sells copies of the homeless magazine The Big Issue outside a Marks and Spencer store in Leicester, central England, January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Darren Staples/Files

A woman sells copies of the homeless magazine The Big Issue outside a Marks and Spencer store in Leicester, central England, January 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, is not considering a bid for British retailer Marks & Spencer(MKS.L), a source close to the fund said on Monday.

Shares in Marks & Spencer (M&S) jumped 8 percent in early Monday trading after The Sunday Times newspaper said the Qatar Investment Authority wanted to assemble a consortium to mount an 8-billion-pound takeover of Britain's biggest clothing retailer.

Qatar Holding is the vehicle through which the wealth fund conducts some of its biggest overseas investments.

M&S declined to comment.

Despite the denial from the source, some analysts think M&S, whose core women's clothes business has been losing market share, could be vulnerable to a private equity bid.

"Trading and profits are under pressure, with nothing to show yet for the big investments made in online systems and warehousing and the changes in the clothing team," said independent retail analyst Nick Bubb.

He also noted that from a funding perspective, the recent improvement in the debt markets and the amount of money currently in private equity makes a bid possible.

"From a strategic perspective, however, the question is what anybody thinks could be done with a declining brand like M&S."

One of M&S's top 20 shareholders also told Reuters a private equity-style bid was possible.

"You could argue that the business could support quite a bit of debt if it wasn't having to pay a dividend," said the investor.

(Reporting by Dinesh Nair and James Davey; additional reporting by Chris Vellacott; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Mark Potter)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

GROUP OF 20

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Modi Speaks

Modi Speaks

PM Modi says al Qaeda will fail in India - CNN.  Full Article 

Alibaba Listing

Alibaba Listing

Alibaba surges on massive demand in trading debut  Full Article 

Importing Rice

Importing Rice

Top rice exporter India importing over 100,000 T on temporary supply squeeze.  Full Article 

GSK Fined

GSK Fined

China hands drugmaker GSK record $489 mln fine, sentences executives.  Full Article 

HMT in Demand

HMT in Demand

Fans rush to HMT as watchmaker marks time.  Full Article 

Apple Not Cool?

Apple Not Cool?

Some consumers say Apple is losing its "cool" factor  Full Article 

Asian Games 2014

Asian Games 2014

Full coverage of the 17th Asian Games as Incheon.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage