Lew reveals stake in David Jones

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IOL pic jun17 Woolworths store signage Independent Newspapers File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Sydney - Australian billionaire Solomon Lew revealed on Wednesday he has bought a 9.89 percent stake in David Jones, casting a shadow over a $2 billion buyout by South Africa's Woolworths Holdings.

Lew's private investment company Australian Retail Investments told the Australian stock exchange in a regulatory filing it had voting power over 53.1 million David Jones shares, purchasing around half the stock on Monday.

David Jones shareholders are due to vote on the takeover offer, which would create one of the leading retailers in the southern hemisphere, on June 30. Woolworths shareholders have already approved the offer.

The deal requires the approval of a 50 percent majority of shareholders with at least 75 percent of the stock. But only votes cast at the meeting are counted, making the result dependent on traditionally lower turnout. - Reuters

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