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Fnac makes offer for Darty

by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 1 October 2015

The French technology retail channel looks set for further consolidation. Fnac has put forward a £533m (US$806.5m) share-based offer to acquire Darty. The two companies will make further announcements on the deal’s progress as appropriate. Fnac claims that the combination of Fnac and Darty offers a compelling strategic and financial opportunity for both groups by creating a leader in the French electronics and home appliances retail market.

Darty issued a shareholder statement on the approach, which noted: “The board has considered the proposal and concluded that it should further explore the benefits of a potential combination with Fnac. Initially, this engagement will focus on reviewing deal execution risks in order to determine whether an offer is likely to be deliverable on a basis which could be capable of being recommended to Darty shareholders.”

Fnac believes that joining forces with Darty would enable the enlarged entity to offer an enhanced multichannel offering through two complementary websites. A combined Fnac-Darty would also have broader international exposure with a presence across seven countries and combined sales in excess of €7 billion (US$7.8 billion).

At year-end 2014, Fnac’s retail network included a total of 186 stores, 114 of which were located in Franc). The company also includes e-commerce websites, including Fnac.com, the third largest French e-commerce website based on average unique visitors. Fnac’s consolidated revenues were €3.9 billion (US$4.35 billion) in 2014 and the company had more than 14,500 employees.

Darty operates some 400 stores in Europe and is the continent’s third largest electrical products retailer. Approximately 70% of Darty’s sales are in the French market.

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