Economy

Lew may dump takeover bid for Just Group after shock downgrade

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Solomon Lew is reported to be considering taking his $800 million plus offer for Just Group off the table following yesterday’s U-turn by the group.

Solomon Lew is reported to be considering taking his $800 million plus offer for Just Group off the table following yesterday’s U-turn by the group.

Yesterday’s shock downgrade pushed the retail group’s shares to their lowest point in two years and their biggest one-day fall in three years.

In a statement, Lew said the downgrade was “astonishing” coming so quickly after Just rejected his Premier Investments offer as “opportunistic”.

“Premier cannot believe that the Just board has not now recommended Premier’s offer,” Lew says.

Just has slashed its forecast 2008 revenue by up to $16 million to between $808 million and $814 million, however Just chairman Ian Pollard continues to call on shareholders to reject the Premier offer.

Yesterday’s write-down, coming as it did just a month after the company’s previous guidance, might see Premier walk away from its bid.

Lew said Premier had “no confidence” in anything the Just board said about its future performance and was considering its position.

Lew said Premier had been highlighting issues facing retailers for months – a core skill of any good retailer was the ability to predict and respond to market conditions, he says.

The brands in Just’s stable most affected by the fall in consumer spending are Just Jeans and Jay Jays.

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