Diary: Finsbury aims to give Argos a golden fleecing

I hear that the latest competitive bid is creating strong rivalries between old friends in two rival City agencies.

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

events unfold?



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