David Jones says rejected merger approach from Myer

SYDNEY Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:44am EST

Pedestrians and a cyclist are seen outside the Myer department store in central Melbourne November 2, 2009. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

Pedestrians and a cyclist are seen outside the Myer department store in central Melbourne November 2, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Mick Tsikas

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian retailer David Jones Ltd (DJS.AX) said it had rejected a takeover approach from Myer Holdings Ltd (MYR.AX) worth A$1.4 billion ($1.23 billion) in October 2013 and was no longer in talks.

Both David Jones, Australia's No.2 department store operator, and larger rival Myer, have valuable property assets but have been struggling with soft consumer confidence, patchy retail spending and a shift to more online retailing.

David Jones said Myer had offered a nil premium script deal at a ratio of 1.06 Myer shares for every David Jones share, which were trading at A$2.71 at the time.

The company said it considered the approach, but concluded that the offer did "not have sufficient merit for David Jones shareholders".

Officials at Myer were not immediately available to comment outside of normal office hours.

David Jones shares closed on Thursday at A$2.87 per share, giving it a market capitalization of A$1.54 billion.

In mid-2012, David Jones revealed a little known UK-based private equity fund had made a highly conditional A$1.65 billion takeover approach. The news sent shares surging before the mystery offer was pulled days later, sending its shares plunging and prompting a probe by regulators.

($1 = 1.1425 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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