I hear that the latest competitive bid is creating strong rivalries
between old friends in two rival City agencies.
Finsbury director Rupert Younger, who along with partner Roland Rudd and
three others is leading catalogue and stores giant GUS into battle with
Argos, used to work at Brunswick, which is defending Argos.
The GUS work is Finsbury’s first ever contested bid and sets Younger up
against Brunswick’s heavyweight team of Alan Parker and Tom Kyte.
Finsbury is at least in good company as it grapples with its first
hostile bid. GUS’s financial advisers Merrill Lynch have never
previously advised a predator in a bid before.
So how has the battle developed? Brunswick’s team have focused on
raising the profile of Argos’ acting chief executive Stuart Rose, the
man appointed to fight off GUS in the absence of chief executive Mike
Smith who is seriously ill. Younger says: ’The onus is now on Argos to
demonstrate that their shares are worth more than the 570p bid.’
Younger is guarded over his team’s plans for GUS and says that he’s set
for a good fair fight with Brunswick. But the gloves will well and truly
be off if Finsbury’s team retaliate against perceived weaknesses at
Argos by attacking Rose and the rest of the Argos management.
I wonder if Younger will remain on Parker’s Christmas card list as