JB Hi-Fi makes pre-emptive strike against takeover rumours

By Patrick Avenell

MELBOURNE, VIC & SYDNEY, NSW: JB Hi-Fi CEO Richard Uechtritz has made a pre-emptive strike against any destabilising takeover rumours, declaring that there won’t be any acquisition activity on either side of the ledger.

Over the past 18 months, JB Hi-Fi has been the centre of persistent and unsubstantiated takeover speculation, with the two most common rumours being that Woolworths is set to take over the consumer electronics specialists and that JB Hi-Fi itself is set to take over Clive Peeters.

The misinformation reached a zenith in November last year, when Woolworths and JB Hi-Fi released joint statements to the Australian Securities Exchange categorically denying that any takeover or merger was planned.

After last week posting record sales and profit figures for the 2009 financial year, Current.com.au asked Uechtritz if there was any change to this situation. Although he originally said he did not like to comment on this matter, he did elucidate why JB Hi-Fi is not in any position to be taken over.

“There’s only two companies in the country…that would be big enough to take us over, considering our capitalisation is getting closer to the $2 billion mark, and that’s Wesfarmers and Woolworths.

“Wesfarmers have got their hands full with the recent acquisition of Coles, and Woolworths have got their own challenges and their own business in Dick Smith, so I don’t think we’d be under threat of takeover.”

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