Fnac Close to Sealing $935 Million Darty Deal With Sweetened Bid

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Groupe Fnac SA reached agreement on the terms of a 615 million-pound ($934 million) bid for Darty Plc after sweetening the value of its proposed share-exchange offer for France’s biggest electronics appliances retailer.

Fnac, a French seller of books, music and digital devices, plans to offer Darty investors 1 share for every 37 they own, according to a joint statement Friday. It had previously offered 1 share for every 39 held. The offer implies a value of about 116 pence per Darty share, about 17 percent higher than Darty’s last closing price of 99.5 pence.

Fnac has still to submit a formal offer, which is dependent on completion of due diligence and final board approvals. The potential deal will more than triple Fnac’s store numbers, adding 400 outlets to the 186 it already operates. Darty would add annual sales of about 3.5 billion euros to Fnac’s 3.9 billion euros of revenue.

Darty shares rose 9.6 percent to 109 pence at 8:21 a.m. in London. Fnac rose 6.5 percent to 64.28 euros in Paris.

A partial cash alternative capped at 95 million euros will be available to Darty holders, the companies said. Fnac has agreed to pay Darty 12 million euros should the transaction fail to complete in certain circumstances.

In addition to the Darty electronics chain in France, Darty operates Vanden Borre stores in Belgium and BCC in the Netherlands. The company retained its U.K. listing after selling the unprofitable British chain Comet in 2012.

Knight Vinke Asset Management LLC and DNCA Finance S.A., the largest holders of Darty shares with 14 percent and 7 percent stakes, respectively, will become shareholders in the combined entity.