Reuters – Penta and Eastbridge to Own 74% of Polish Retailer

Czech private equity group Penta Investments and Luxembourg-based Eastbridge Group will together hold 74 percent of Polish retailer Empik Media & Fashion after a public tender, reports Reuters. Penta and Eastbridge, which already hold 60 percent of EM&F, had wanted to raise their joint stake to at least 80 percent in order to delist the group.

Reuters – Czech private equity group Penta Investments and Luxembourg-based Eastbridge Group will together hold 74 percent of Polish retailer Empik Media & Fashion after a public tender.

Penta and Eastbridge, which already hold 60 percent of EM&F, had wanted to raise their joint stake to at least 80 percent in order to delist the group, whose stores include Poland’s first GAP outlet, which was opened last year.

The two bidders said on Tuesday they would buy the 14 percent tendered in their public bid.

They increased their offer twice, ultimately to 10.45 zlotys per share. The stock closed at 10.47 zlotys.

Earlier on Tuesday, Eastbridge Chief Executive Maciej Dyjas, told Reuters the bidders were determined that the offer would succeed, even though it faced unexpected competition from another market player, which bought an 8 percent stake over the last several days.

Dyjas declined to name the rival, but sources close to the offer said it was pension fund ING OFE. The fund, which at last count had a 6 percent stake in EM&F, declined to comment.

Under Polish law, an investor is required to launch a public offer within 60 days if it buys more than 10 percent of a company. A shareholder must also declare its position after surpassing 10 percent.

“Delisting will take place sooner or later,” Dyjas told Reuters. “We will wait for emotions to subside and it is likely that with time we will buy the remaining shares at a lower price.”