The obscure investor group, EB Private Equity, which pulled its bizarre $1.65 billion bid for David Jones, has again blamed media coverage and public commentary as the prompt for dropping an unlikely takeover off for the upmarket retailer.
A message posted on EB Private Equity’s website last night says “inaccurate” publicity surrounding its corporate play had made it difficult to hold discussions with its financial partners.
“Our intention was to hold preliminary discussions with the David Jones board while financial partners continued to be approached. Recent unfounded, inaccurate and ill-informed publicity around our proposal has made it difficult for these discussions to take place,” the private equity firm’s website reports.
It also blamed the David Jones board for the failed talks.
“Our proposal was made in an effort to engage with the board. However, the board has made it clear it does not intend to engage in these discussions based on our proposal. This is our only statement on this matter and we are not giving further interviews and comment in any way.”
However, mystery still surrounds the background, financial strength and credibility of EB Private Equity and its chairman John Edgar.
In other developments overnight the contact email address from EB Private Equity’s website has also disappeared. The website of Laura Panton, the 20-year old web creator from West Yorkshire who created the site for the Luxembourg-based EB Private Equity firm also remains offline.
Last Friday David Jones informed the market it had been approached by EB Private Equity with an incomplete $1.65 billion bid for the retailer. But concerns over the credibility and bona fides of the little-known company grew over the weekend and by Monday the entire takeover offer was withdrawn.
Shares in David Jones rose 20 per cent when the offer was unveiled but about much of Friday’s gains were lost yesterday when EB Private Equity said it was walking away from the deal.
David Jones shares were recently unchanged for the day at $2.33.
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