David Jones: Woolworths takeover clears hurdle

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IOL pic feb13 woolworths store front file Independent Newspapers File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Sydney - David Jones Ltd said a takeover proposal from South Africa's Woolworths Holdings Ltd has been approved by Australia's foreign investment review body, clearing a hurdle for the creation of a southern hemisphere retailing giant.

Woolworths, which has no relation to Australian supermarket chain Woolworths Ltd, offered to buy up-market retailer David Jones a month ago for $2 billion after trumping a bid from Myer Holdings Ltd.

David Jones said in a statement that Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board had no objection to the takeover proposal. The FIRB does not issue public statements on its decisions.

The David Jones board continues to unanimously recommend the proposal to shareholders.

David Jones also said on Tuesday that its total sales in the third quarter rose 4.1 percent to A$407.2 million ($377.47 million), with comparable sales up 2.4 percent.

David Jones shares edged up 0.3 percent to A$3.96 as of 00h28 GMT, compared with a 0.4 percent gain for the broader market. - Reuters

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