February 27, 2021

The fund of the Russian tycoon Fridman presents his bid without moving from its initial offer | Economy

Dia supermarkets are once again collapsing in the Stock Market | Economy



The Luxembourgish Letterone Fund, controlled by the Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman, has formalized this Thursday its takeover of the supermarket chain Dia, without moving a millimeter of what already announced on February 5. The fund, which is already the largest shareholder of the distributor group with 29.01% of the shares, has formally registered the request for authorization of its offer to the CNMV, strictly adhering to its initial offer. From this moment, the stock exchange supervisor has 20 days to approve the offer or not, although he can reset the clock to zero with any documentation requirement to the offeror, so the term could be extended.

In its written to the CNMV, Letterone does not contribute much to what is already known about its plans regarding the supermarket chain. They go through to take full control of the company through a voluntary bid at 0.67 euros per share and then launch a capital increase of 500 million to remove the company from the technical bankruptcy situation in which find. Along the way, it must also agree with the dozen creditor banks, a refinancing of the group's debt, in excess of 1,400 million. For the moment, it has not announced any agreement with these banks. In fact, in its edition this Thursday, Five days reports that creditors have threatened to convert that debt into equity and thus take control of the company, if it does not reach a refinancing agreement before the end of May.

"In the request for authorization of the Offer, LetterOne has ratified in all its extremes the terms and conditions of the Offer" presented on February 5, says the company in the letter sent to the CNMV, but in the days that have elapsed "produced variations in the information and characteristics of the Offer". The explanatory brochure of the OPA will be published when the CNMV authorizes the operation.

Letterone informs that it has a bank guarantee for 296.1 million euros, the amount that it would have to pay out in case it managed to attract all the actions it does not control to its takeover. Taking into account that it offers 0.67 euros per share, it means valuing the company in a total of 417 million euros. He also adds that he has already started the process to request the authorizations of the EU and Brazilian competition authorities, one of the countries where Dia operates, together with Spain, Portugal and Argentina.

Clash of plans

Despite being the largest shareholder, Fridman is out of Dia's board of directors on his own decision. Their plans clash with those of the council, which has designed a road map to revive the company that includes a capital increase for 600 million, which will be submitted to the vote of the shareholders at the meeting on March 20, and a new four-year strategic plan. The board has, for the moment, the support of the bank, which has extended its financing lines until May, and preliminary until 2023. It is difficult for his plans to go ahead, given the opposition of Fridman, who alone already has 29.01% of the shares.

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