Mystery Myer Buyout Speculation

Monday saw a huge buy-up of Myer shares after a series of trades totalling two million shares, worth $94 million representing 9.8% of the company’s total shares, changed hands at $1.15 per share.

On Monday Myer shares closed at $1.26 per share, which was previously trading at $1.08, that’s an 18.31 percent increase, which is its biggest price jump to date.

The identity of the buyer is unknown, however there is speculation that former Coles Myer chairman Solomon Lew, now chairman of retail group Premier Investments, which owns thriving stationery brand Smiggle, is a possible bidder following reports that he has previously tried to buy Myer, which Lew has denied.

With more international players like H&M, Zara, Topshsop and Uniqclo entering the Australian retail market, it’s no secret the local industry has been taken aback. Myer’s financial performance last year was okay, but recently it has been losing money “with shares among one of the most heavily shorted on the stock market,” according to Ross Greenwood from The Today Show’s Money Minute.

Myer released an ASX statement, in response to the recent buyout speculation, confirming it has not received any communication in relation to Monday’s trading activity.

“Myer Holdings Limited notes yesterday’s high turnover of shares and media speculation surrounding potential corporate activity involving the company. Myer has not received any communication in relation to yesterday’s trading or any corporate activity. Myer will continue to keep the market informed in accordance with its continuous disclosure obligations.”

Myer’s share price fell by 5% at close yesterday, as the mystery buyer remained hidden. The broker the buyer used to purchase the Myer shares, was the same broker who was involved when Lew sold his 10%  stake of David Jones in 2014, just before it was bought out by South African retail group Woolworths Holdings. Lew profited $190 million in that deal.

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