Shareholders of South African retail group Woolworths have approved the buyout of AustralianDavid Jones for 2 billion dollars. The acquisition was approved by virtually all Woolworths shareholders in a special meeting.
“This is transformational for Woolworths. This will allow us to take market share from others, both in South Africa and Africa,” summed up the deal Ian Moir, CEO at Woolworth. Once finalised, the deal will create one of the largest apparel retailers in the southern hemisphere.
“It will allow us to protect ourselves from northern hemisphere entrants coming in and will allow us to be one of the biggest department stores in the world,” added Moir.
Now, it is the turn of David Jones shareholders to vote, as they will decide to go ahead or not with Woolworths’ cash offer of 4.00 Australian dollars per share. The offer already has the support from the board of Australia’s second-biggest department store operator, but still need the nod of approval of the shareholders, who will vote by the end of the month.
According to local media, Woolworths plans to fund the acquisition with a mix of equity and debt. It plans to make a share offer in South Africa and raise new debt in both the local and Australian markets.