South African retail group Steinhoff is to buy Poundland for more than £610m after shareholders in the discount retailer approved the deal, despite a recent intervention by hedge fund Elliott Advisors.
The vote means Steinhoff is poised to finally complete a takeover of a British-listed retailer, after its attempts to buy Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos, and Darty, the French electrical retailer, were rebuffed. Steinhoff’s takeover of Poundland was thrown into doubt when US hedge fund Elliott, which was an investor in electrical retailer Comet before it collapsed, built up a stake of almost 25 per cent in the discount chain.
Almost 98 per cent of votes were cast in favour of the deal at a meeting of Poundland shareholders, with 79 per cent of shareholders voting.
Steinhoff is backed by Christo Wiese, the South African retail billionaire, who already owns furniture chains Harveys and Bensons for Beds in the UK. This led to Steinhoff increasing its offer from 222p per share to 227p per share, including a dividend. Poundland boss offered £2.7m in shares to stay on under Steinhoff.
It is understood that Elliott voted in favour of the deal making an estimated profit of at least £3m. Steinhoff’s takeover of Poundland is now scheduled to be legally completed on 16 September. It has already been approved by the European commission.