Activist investor Elliott ups stake in Steinhoff bid target Poundland again


Retailer Steinhoff warns on collapse of pound

South African retail group Steinhoff has warned the slump in the value of sterling following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union could have an adverse impact on its British businesses.

Steinhoff, which raised its offer earlier in August, has said that its 610 million pound ($800 million) offer for Poundland is final.

Elliott’s stake is big enough to block the deal as Steinhoff requires the support of 75 percent of Poundland shareholders, not including its own holding, for the deal to go through.

Elliott has been building its stake since Steinhoff’s offer was announced and regulatory filings on Wednesday showed its stake had reached 22.7 percent.

A Steinhoff spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular office hours.

Sterling hit a three-decade low of $1.2798 in July in the wake of the vote for Brexit.

The firm added: “The referendum on 23 June. has created uncertainty in the business community and financial markets”.

The group issued the warning as it reported a 33% rise in sales to €13.1bn (£11.1bn) for the year to the end of June, thanks to its European businesses.

Shares in Steinhoff, which have gained about 20 percent so far this year, fell 2 percent to 92.10 rand ($6.39) in Johannesburg.

That was broadly in line with a 13.2 billion euros estimate by Thomson Reuters StarMine’s SmartEstimates, which puts more weight on recent forecasts and those from historically accurate analysts. The stock was down by the same margin in Frankfurt at 5.72 euros.

The group said its results, reported in euros, will suffer an “unfavourable effect” when income from the United Kingdom is translated because it will be lower.

Operating profits rose 32% to €1.5bn (£1.2bn).

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