Woolworths would not sweeten its $2.1 billion (R22.3bn) takeover offer for Australia’s David Jones, the JSE-listed upmarket food and clothing retailer said yesterday. Woolworths said it would also not raise its A$200 million (R1.9bn) offer to buy out minorities in its other Australian investment, Country Road, where it owns nearly 88 percent. Woolworths has made offers of A$4 a share for David Jones and A$17 a share for the rest of Country Road as part of its stated ambition to become a top southern hemisphere retailer. But the David Jones deal has fallen into doubt after Australian billionaire Solomon Lew built up his stake to about 10 percent, leading to speculation he intended to force Woolworths to raise its offer or buy him out in Country Road. Share in Woolworths were up 0.98 percent to close at R78.15 yesterday, while David Jones ended flat at A$3.94. – Reuters