Oom Christo Wiese of Shoprite is, as you know, the majority shareholder of furniture retailer Steinhoff which has just put in a bid for UK outfit Poundland. We’re not entirely sure what Poundland is, to be honest. Maybe something of a hyper? Everything from toothpaste to lawn chairs, sort of thing. It does have 900 stores, which must be a drawcard, and a very mature online shopping presence, and Oom Christo has offered £610million for the whole bang shoot, upping his offer from £597million under pressure from US hedge fund Elliot, which popped out of the woodwork as a 13.2% shareholder just as the Montblancs were being dusted off and the papers neatly stacked on the gleaming cherrywood surface of Oom C’s desk. Elliot have since increased their stake to 17.5%, enough to scupper the deal with the support of other minorities. This is apparently their model – taking a stake in a business undergoing sale, then edging the price up, a process rejoicing under the delightful title of “bumpitrage”.
Comment: Oom Christo doesn’t look like the sort to lose it, but we imagine on this issue he has allowed himself the rueful sigh of one duped by a skellem.