Retail veteran confirms “strategic investment” in Myer

MyerBourkestreetSolomon Lew’s retail group Premier Investments has bought a large stake in Myer but says it is not currently planning a takeover bid for the department store chain.

Premier Investments confirmed on Wednesday that it bought a 10.77 per cent stake in Myer – a $101 million share purchase that sparked a jump of 18 per cent in the value of Myer shares on Monday.

The owner of brands including Smiggle and Peter Alexander put out a brief statement, asserting it’s a “strategic investment” and that “it does not currently intent to make a takeover offer for Myer.”

A separate statement from Century Plaza Investments, an investment group linked to Lew which has a controlling stake in Premier, said it and associated entities had not acquired any securities in Myer but had a relevant interest courtesy of their stake in Premier.

A spokesman for Myer said the company acknowledged Premier’s stake but said the team was focused on its transformation plan.

Lew is a former chairman of Coles Myer and Premier’s chief executive Mark McInnes is a former chief executive of luxury department store chain David Jones.

IG market strategist Evan Lucas said both men have a lot of experience in running department stores and there still could be a possibility of Premier making a takeover bid for Myer in future.

“Lew has been saying for some time that he has been looking at investing in opportunities he sees in the market,” Lucas said.

“He knows Myer incredibly well and he also has in Mark McInnes a very savvy operator in large retailers.”

Myer shares closed down 0.5 cents at $1.19 on Wednesday while Premier shares ended up 14 cents to $14.18.

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