Fnac Beats Offer Deadline to Seal $934 Million Darty Takeover

Groupe Fnac SA agreed to buy Darty Plc for about 615 million pounds ($934 million), sealing a deal between the French retailers about 10 minutes before a deadline imposed by the U.K. Takeover Panel.

The formal offer follows the agreement of terms between the companies two weeks ago, when Fnac said it would offer Darty investors 1 share for every 37 they own. The Takeover Panel had twice granted extensions to the offer timetable, giving the retailers time to hammer out the fine details. The latest of those expired at 5 p.m. in London.

The combined company will be a leader in French electronics retailing with annual sales of about 5.6 billion euros ($6 billion). It will have about 380 stores in France and more than 200 in countries including the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil. The combination will generate annual pretax cost savings of at least 85 million euros, the companies said in a statement after markets closed Friday.

“The combination of Fnac and Darty constitutes a compelling strategic opportunity for both groups,” Alexandre Bompard, chairman and chief executive officer of Fnac, said in the statement.

The offer values each Darty share at about 105 pence, the companies said. The stock fell 1.3 percent to 98 pence in London. A partial cash alternative capped at 66.7 million pounds will be available to Darty holders, the companies said.

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.

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