Top US suitor pulls out of takeover talks with Currys

Currys sign on a shop front.
Currys has ten stores in Northern Ireland. (Currys/Currys/PA Wire)

A US suitor for electricals retailer Currys has pulled out of takeover talks after saying its proposed offers had been rejected.

Elliott Advisors said it does not intend to make an offer for Currys, which has ten stores in Northern Ireland, after hopes it could be at the centre of a bidding battle, sending its shares tumbling by nearly a 10th on Monday morning.

The activist investor group, which owns bookseller Waterstones, said that “following multiple attempts to engage with Currys’ board, all of which were rejected, it is not in an informed position to make an improved offer for Currys” as it does not have all the information needed to make a third bid.

Currys rejected a takeover approach worth £757 million from Elliott late last month, claiming it undervalued the company.

JD .com, which says it is China’s biggest online retailer, said last month it was considering a possible deal to buy Currys, but stressed there is no certainty that an offer will be made.

An investor in Currys said last week that the tech retailer should hold out for an offer of around £1 billion.

JO Hambro Capital Management UK Equity Income fund, a top 10 shareholder in the company, said Currys generates about £9.5 billion in sales across its leading markets in the UK and the Nordics.

This highlights the “absurdity of UK stock-market valuations”, the fund said.

Elliott said it still has the right to make an offer for Currys in the next six months with the agreement of its board, or if another business puts a firm bid on the table.