Dec 12, 2011
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Cinven mulling $234 million offer for Mothercare

Dec 12, 2011

LONDON - Buyout firm Cinven is assessing a 150 million pound-plus ($234 million) takeover of mother and baby products retailer Mothercare (MTC.L), the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The newspaper said Cinven is looking at the retailer with a view to making a cash offer but had yet to approach Mothercare's board. A source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Sunday that Mothercare had not received any approaches.

The Sunday Telegraph said Cinven was most interested in the international potential for the brand, following its franchising success in countries as diverse as Greece and Iraq.

It also believes its performance in Britain could be revived under the right management, the newspaper added.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported Cinven wants to team up with an experienced retail head to spearhead the plans with the favourite being Paul Mason, chairman of Cath Kidston, the homewear and fashion retailer.

The Sunday Times said Mothercare's British stores could be jettisoned by Cinven so it can focus on the better-performing overseas operation.

Mothercare is battling intense competition in Britain from supermarkets and internet players, as well as consumer uncertainty in the face of tough economic headwinds.

In November, it launched a strategic review of its British business having detailed plans in May to close about 110 stores.

Mothercare said it would not comment on market rumour or speculation. Cinven could not be reached for comment.

($1 = 0.6402 British pounds)

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by David Hulmes)

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