Battleground laid bare.

The stakes have lifted in the industry as leading retail houses Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi prepare to fight it out for control of The Good Guys business. Seasoned observers know one true thing: Gerry Harvey will not allow JB to take the industry leadership position without mortal combat.

The news erupted yesterday when JB Hi Fi acknowledged that it had made a non-binding indicative offer for The Good Guys. Just as this news was being digested, Harvey chairman Gerry Harvey said he would be willing to make an offer of $900 million if the move was approved by the ACCC.Good-Guys

That figure is believed to be the asking price by the Muir family, private owners of The Good Guys.

However, there have been several interested parties who have also made non-binding indicative bids for The Good Guys. No due diligence has been undertaken and there is no guarantee a deal will proceed.

IBISWorld estimates The Good Guys has a 12.5% slice of the domestic appliance market, while JB Hi-Fi has 13.9% and Harvey Norman is the biggest player with 15.3%.

Meanwhile, it’s understood 56 Good Guys retailers, operating under joint venture agreements, are battling to secure a more generous package for handing back the keys to the operation’s corporate headquarters.