LONDON -- For maverick British entrepreneur Philip Green, the second time around might be the charm in his pursuit of Marks & Spencer, observers said.
Green, who was expected last week to bid for the food-and-clothing retailer via his family-owned company, Revival Acquisitions, said in a statement that the proposal to M&S shareholders would be a mix of cash and shares in a new company that would eventually seek a stock market listing.
It would be Green's second attempt to buy M&S. In 2000, he sought to acquire the retailer, which owns Kings Super Markets in Parsippany, N.J., via a hostile bid, but eventually gave up after a counterattack by M&S.
This time around, Green is better poised to strike. "His timing is impeccable," said Richard Ratner, retail analyst at Seymour Pierce here. "The store needs help with its sourcing and merchandising, and that's what Green does best."
Asda, owned by Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark., was also reported last week to be interested in M&S, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. was said to be a possible candidate to make a competing offer. Spokesmen for the companies declined to comment. Green could not be reached for comment.