A consortium led by Lord Harris of Peckham, the founder, chairman and chief
executive of retailer
forced to drop plans to take the company private, blaming ‘external market
The consortium was in advanced negotiations to buy the chain for £850m.
However it withdrew as the market closed last Friday.
Lord Harris, who owns 23.4% of the company and was being advised by
told The Daily Telegraph he was ‘disappointed that, due to external
market conditions, we are unable to proceed with an offer for the shares of
A statement issued by the consortium said: ‘Since the original proposal was
submitted, the credit markets have deteriorated significantly with a consequent
adverse impact on the economic outlook and the availability of funding and cost
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