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Baugur seeks to force negotiations at Woolworths

Published: 19 August 2008
Icelandic investment group contacts Woolworths' shareholders in bid to bring retailer's directors to negotiating table to talk about a buy-out of retail division.
Baugur seeks to force negotiations at Woolworths
Baugur, the consortium behind the Malcolm Walker-led bid for Woolworths, has contacted shareholders to force directors to open discussions about a buy-out of the retail division.

The Financial Times reports that Baugur and its partners in the consortium are trying to win over potential supporters and bring about a 'bear hug' on directors.

Woolworths rejected a reported £50m for the retail arm in a statement released on Sunday.

Its chairman Richard North believes the business has 'considerable opportunity for the group to build a sustainable value retail proposition'.

Mr North's views are based on a strategic review, carried out by consultants LEK, which highlighted opportunities for improved stock management in the areas of ordering, weeks of stock cover held and availability.

He has appointed Steve Johnson, former Focus DIY ceo, to head up the retailer's future strategy and direction.

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