Johannesburg - A top shareholder in Darty will back Steinhoff's [JSE:SHF] $975m takeover bid for the French electronic goods retailer, the South African furniture group said on Monday.
Steinhoff said its offer had the support of Schroder Investment Management, a British hedge fund firm. Schroder owns about 14% of Europe's third-largest electronics retailer, making it the biggest shareholder.
Investors have until May 2 to accept the offer, which trumped a competing bid from French retailer Fnac last month and has the backing of Darty's board.
The transaction would bulk up Steinhoff's presence in Europe, where it already makes more than two-thirds of its $11.18bn of annual sales.
Darty earns 70% of its revenue in France but has 400 stores across Europe and competes with Media-Saturn, owned by Germany's Metro, and with Britain's Dixons. Steinhoff's Conforama, like Darty and Fnac, has a strong presence in French high streets and retail parks.