Currys rejects £700m takeover approach from US firm Elliott

Currys store

Electrical goods retailer Currys has rejected a takeover approach from US investment firm Elliott.

Currys, which operates more than 800 stores globally and employs 28,000 people, said the offer valued the business at about £700m.

But the proposal “significantly undervalued” the company, Currys said.

Elliott has a reputation as an activist investor, meaning it pursues companies in order to take them over and change how they are run.

In 2018, it bought UK book shop chain Waterstones for an undisclosed amount.

Elliott has said it is now considering whether or not to make a formal offer for Currys, and under UK takeover regulations it has until 16 March to decide.

Like many High Street businesses, Currys has been struggling with falling sales as customers cut back on spending.

Last month, the company said like-for-like sales – which strip out the impact of store openings and closures – fell 3% over the key Christmas trading period.

Despite this, cost-cutting measures meant that Currys increased its profit forecast for the year.

However, shares in Currys have fallen by more than a third over the past year and on Friday they closed at 47.08p, valuing the business at about £534m.

In a statement, Currys said that its board had considered the “unsolicited” proposal from Elliot and “concluded that it significantly undervalued the company and its future prospects”.

As well as the Currys stores in the UK and Ireland, the business trades under the Elkjøp brand in the Nordic region.

Last November, the company announced a deal to sell its Greek business – which trades under the Kotsovolos brand – for £175m.

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