Stakes increased in retail battle for DJs as Solomon Lew grabs shares; Disclosure breach to cost Newcrest $1.2m: Midday Roundup

Retail magnate Solomon Lew has increased his stake in the department store David Jones by just short of 10%, in a bid to undercut the recent $2.2 billion Woolworths Holdings’ takeover or gain influence on the board, reports Fairfax.

The bid confirms market watchers’ suspicions that Lew has been buying shares in takeover target David Jones since May 9.

Lew’s owned Australian Retail Investments has announced on Wednesday that it now owns 9.89% of David Jones after buying 53.11 million shares for around $200m.

This considerable stake in Lew’s command could give him the influence to vote down the Woolworths takeover when it is put to David Jones shareholders in 13 days’ time.

Disclosure breach to cost Newcrest $1.2m

After legal action in the Federal Court from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, gold miner Newcrest will accept liability for $1.2 million in penalties and offer a declaration of two contraventions to the continuous disclosure laws, reports Business Spectator.

An inquiry by the corporate watchdog alleged the company selectively disclosed fiscal 2014 production guidance and capital expenditure estimates to analysts and also failed to disclose this information to the market.

The two parties have agreed on a settlement of $1.2m, though the final figure will be subject to court ruling.

Shares down on open

Global markets are up, but Rivkin chief executive Scott Schuberg says ASX futures refuse to climb.

“The market just feels pessimistic at the moment, and this hasn’t been helped by spanners being thrown in the works of mergers and acquisitions activity, specifically David Jones (DJS) and Aquila Resources (AQA) – not great advertisements for would-be foreign suitors,” Schuberg says.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 4.7 points to 5396 points at 12.33pm AEST. The Dow Jones closed 27.48 points higher, up by 0.16% to 16,808.49.

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