March 2, 2016 / 8:09 AM / 4 years ago

Conforama mulls cash counterbid for Fnac target Darty

PARIS, March 2 (Reuters) - South African furniture group Steinhoff’s Conforama unit said on Wednesday it had approached Darty about a cash bid for the UK-listed electrical goods retailer.

Any firm offer would compete with an agreed takeover by French books and music retailer Fnac.

In a statement confirming the approach, Darty said it was considering the approach and added: “There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made by Conforama, nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made.”

The takeover of Darty by Fnac to create France’s premier white goods retailer is due to be completed around mid-2016 and Fnac’s offer has already been raised once.

On Nov. 6, Fnac increased its bid to one Fnac share per 37 Darty shares held, equivalent to about 116 pence per share at the time and valuing Darty at about 615 million pounds ($859 million).

Conforama said it was looking to make a cash offer at 125 pence per share.

Darty is Europe’s third-largest electrical goods retailer, with some 400 stores in Europe. Conforama, like Darty and Fnac, has a strong presence in French high streets and retail parks.

Darty earns 70 percent of its revenue in France and competes with Metro’s Media-Saturn, listed in Germany like Steinhoff, and with Britain’s Dixons. ($1 = 0.7158 pounds) (Reporting by Andrew Callus; Editing by James Regan)

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