June 23, 2014 / 11:52 PM / in 4 years

Sth Africa's Woolworths offers to buy Australian billionaire's Country Road stake

SYDNEY, June 24 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings Ltd offered on Tuesday to buy the 12 percent of Australian clothes retailer Country Road Ltd it does not already own from billionaire Solomon Lew for A$213 million ($200.20 million).

The offer potentially ends a stand-off over bigger takeover target David Jones Ltd. Woolworths wants to buy David Jones, Australia’s No. 2 retailer, for A$2.2 billion but Lew has amassed a holding of just under 10 percent of David Jones, potentially enabling him to block the takeover.

The move by Melbourne-based Lew, who has held his minority stake in Country Road for 17 years, was widely seen as a tactic to force Woolworths, which owns the rest, to buy out his stake, currently worth A$172.28 million, at a profit. ($1 = 1.0639 Australian Dollars) (Reporting By Byron Kaye; Editing by Paul Tait)

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