The David Jones Takeover Was Approved But The Deal Hangs On Solomon Lew

Solomon Lew (Photo: Bloomberg)

Shareholders have overwhelmingly approved a $2.2 billion takeover of Australian retailer David Jones, but everyone’s still wondering what Solomon Lew is up to.

Lew has not declared how much of David Jones he controls, but media reports have speculated he may have between five and 12 per cent of the company, mostly through derivatives.

So, while Woolworths has approved the takeover of David Jones and capital raising required, it’s all under a cloud until the company finds out what Lew is up to. If he has as big a stake as people think he does, the deal — more than a year in the making — could be scuttled.

The theory, according to The Australian Financial Review, is Lew could be hoping Woolworths buys his stake at a huge profit, or that he wants to block the transaction, or protect his interest in Country Road, which is majority-owned by David Jones.

Lew, according to reports, hasn’t engaged with David Jones or Woolworths, so it is unlikely we will find out what the story is until the company’s meeting in a little over a week.

There’s more here.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at