Today Lord Harris of Peckham finally launched his bid to take the listed retailer back into private hands. The peer is offering £850m, or £12.50 per share, to buy back his own company – a premium on last week’s share price, though almost £1 lower than when the takeover talks were announced.
Clearly Lord Harris believes that the cost-cutting he has already started to carry out (100 jobs have been trimmed since January) can be done more easily away from the glare of the public markets. For a man who grew the company from a three-store chain into the biggest private retailer of its type in Europe, it can’t be easy to have to justify his every move to a large shareholder base.
Going private would also eliminate the need for him to talk through Carpetright’s results (and justify its lacklustre share price performance) on a quarterly basis – which would be particularly useful if trading conditions deteriorate, as Harris expects.