(News Bulletin 247) – Fnac Darty shares jumped more than 10% on Thursday, after BFM Business reported that the Czech businessman wanted to buy the 20% held by the German Ceconomy in the capital of the French company , and could thus delist the group.

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The hypothesis of a takeover of Fnac Darty runs for a long time. Even since its introduction on the Parisian coast, in 2013, as highlighted last year Agefi. But the difficulties of the group linked in particular to the health crisis have eclipsed this possibility in recent years.

It is now back with force on the front of the stage, thanks to an article by BFM Business. According to information from our colleagues, the Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky, who owns 20% of the capital of the specialized distribution group, intends to buy the shares of Ceconomy, a German company very similar to Fnac Darty, which itself owns 24% of the capital of the company managed by Enrique Martinez.

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The latter would also see a good eye on the ambitions of the Czech because relations with the German group are currently almost zero.

Focus on acquisitions

Via this operation, Daniel Kretinsky wishes, according to a close friend of the group, that Fnac Darty makes acquisitions, which is also the ambition of the company. But the immobility of its German shareholder handicaps the company in its desire to participate in the consolidation of the market. The Czech businessman and Fnac Darty both have views on Cdiscount, currently owned by the Casino group. But the latter could one day sell it to accelerate its deleveraging.

By buying Ceconomy’s share, Daniel Kretinsky could consider taking Fnac Darty out of the stock market, since it would cross the threshold of 30% of the capital, synonymous with a mandatory takeover bid. Still, if approaches took place last year, Ceconomy does not intend to sell its shares, according to sources from BFM Business.

Ceconomy itself interested in a takeover?

On the Paris Stock Exchange, the Fnac Darty share soared following the publication of information from BFM Business. “Investors are taking note of the return of speculation on Fnac Darty, even though Ceconomy is not selling immediately,” said Clément Genelot, analyst at Bryan Garnier & Co.

“We understand that Daniel Kretinsky does not have a simple financial investor profile but intends to take on a more strategic role, with a desire to put Fnac Darty back into a more offensive movement with acquisitions. However, this profile requires patience, long time, which is not really the time of the market”, he develops.

“We can think that Daniel Kretinsky has the will to buy Cdiscount in all cases, whether Fnac Darty is still listed or not. And if Ceconomy continues to obstruct, the businessman could well plead for Fnac Darty acquires Cdiscount via a capital increase that would be reserved for it, which would potentially dilute Ceconomy and also reduce the stock market price”, estimates the analyst, a hypothesis also mentioned by BFM Business.

But Daniel Kretinsky is perhaps not the only potential buyer of Fnac Darty. “If Ceconomy is not a seller, it is probably because the German group intends to buy Fnac Darty in a horizon of 2-3 years”, judge Clément Genelot.

In any case, minority shareholders can hope that the file will move in the long term, with a potential premium. This, while Fnac Darty has seen its price drop by almost 60% over five years. The group will publish its annual results on Thursday after market close.