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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

$960M Offer for Britain's Selfridges

LONDON -- Canadian billionaire Galen Weston said Monday he had agreed a cash offer for Britain's Selfridges worth 598 million British pounds ($960 million), ending weeks of bid speculation surrounding the upmarket department stores.

The deal is priced at 387 pence per share plus a 5.25 pence dividend bringing the total value of the offer to 392.25 pence per share, a premium of around 60 percent to the share price on April 8, the day before the firm first revealed a bid approach.

Aletheia Partners Ltd., linked in media reports to Iranian businessman Robert Tchenguiz of Rotch Property Group, said Monday it was considering a competing bid for the retail group.

"Today's offer is really at the top end of expectations ... and so it is likely that other contenders will have to re-do their calculations this morning," said Rachael Waring, analyst at Numis Securities, who recommended shareholders hold on for the ride.

Selfridges chairman Alun Cathcart told reporters on Monday he was aware other suitors could step in to make a higher offer, but the board was happy with the price it had got and was convinced this was the right offer for the company.

Weston is chairman of George Weston, the Canadian food group, and also controls landmark Dublin department store Brown Thomas. His British nephew, Guy Weston, controls upscale London grocer Fortnum & Mason and furniture store Heal's.