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Bra business will lift PRG's profile

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 28th March 2002

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Pacific Retail Group (NZSE: PRG) is set to become an international player after taking control of Bendon Group (NZSE: PRG) with more than 90% of acceptances for its takeover bid.

Although PRG extended its $1.90 per share offer for Bendon by two weeks late on Tuesday the final tally of acceptances has pushed the company to dominant ownership with 90.026% of the voting rights.

The winning goal came when AMP Henderson Global Investors said they would sell their 26% Bendon stake to PRG after determining it offered the best value option for their clients.

Previously AMP Henderson had backed a combined bid with Bendon MD HugoVenter to buy the lingerie trading business of the company, however that bid was rejected by Bendon's independent directors.

PRG will now be able to move to compulsory acquisition of the remaining Bendon shares it doesn't own.

Till now PRG has been a domestic business with its Noel Leeming and Bond & Bond stores, the Living and Giving chain and Pacific Retail Finance all focused on the New Zealand market.

However its new prize widens those horizons to a number of overseas markets including Australia and the United Kingdom.

The purchase is likely to boost PRG's annual revenue close to or over the $500 million mark.

In its half-year result to the end of September 2001 PRG had sales of $212 million and its second half should be at least as strong given the bullish domestic retail figures. Bendon's half-year sales for the six months ended September 2001 were $35.5 million.

Both companies have year-end dates of March 31 and are expected to report their full year results before the end of May.

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