April 26, 2016 / 4:40 PM / in 3 years

Fnac secures backing of majority of Darty shareholders

People walk past the logo of electrical goods retailer Darty shop in La Defense near Paris, France on April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - French retailer Fnac (FNAC.PA) said on Tuesday it had the backing of a majority of Darty DRTY.L shareholders in a battle with South Africa Steinhoff (SNHG.DE) for control of the London-listed electronic goods retailer.

Fnac on Monday raised its offer for Darty to around 900 million pounds ($1.3 billion), declaring the offer its last..

Steinhoff, which has amassed a 20.4 percent stake in Darty and had urged Darty on Monday to take no further action, declined to comment on Tuesday on the latest development.

Steinhoff’s latest offer was 160 pence a share in cash, valuing Darty at about 860 million pounds.

Fnac said in a statement it now controlled 29.73 percent of the capital of Darty DRTY.L and had irrevocable undertakings from shareholders representing 22.11 percent of Darty’s capital, lifting total backing from Darty shareholders to 51.84 percent.

Last week, the rival bidders entered into a hectic showdown with five new offers in less than 24 hours that lifted Darty shares by more than 23 percent on April 21.

Darty shares have now more than doubled in value from about 81 pence before Fnac first approached Darty in September.

Darty shares closed at 168.75 pence on Tuesday, slightly below the 170 pence offered by Fnac.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Michel Rose and Susan Thomas

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