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LONDON-Retailer Terry Green is in talks about a tie-up with Minerva in their £122 million bid for department store chain Allders.

Green would bring his expertise in the retail business to running the 44 Allders stores, which in recent years have lost market share to more aggressive department store operators like House of Fraser and Debenhams. Minerva would then be free to focus on extracting value from the mainly high street properties. The freehold portfolio of department stores is estimated to be worth up to £100 million ($156 million) and the business has an annual turnover of £560 million ($873 million)

Minerva, which has a 25% stake in the retailer, has already struck an agreement with the board of Allders for a 160p-a-share offer. There is also an existing deal with Allders set to take the anchor store in Minerva’s £500 million ($780 million) development in Croydon.

The Croydon development has not, until now, attracted much City attention. But analysts are starting to speculate that Minerva may want to replace Allders with a stronger anchor which would raise the profile of the development, make the site more valuable and enable Minerva to charge higher rents.

There is also growing speculation in the press that the Minerva consortium could face a rival bid from John Lewis Partnership, House of Fraser or the Icelandic retailer Baugur. But analysts are sceptical. They warn that such an offer would have to be ‘generous’ given that Minerva already owns a 25% stake in Allders and the existing offer is seen virtually as a ‘done deal’.

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