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Stricken maternity products specialist could have struck a deal four years ago

Shares in embattled mother and baby products retailer Mothercare (MTC), currently in a perilous financial condition, are now trading at a lowly 32.5p, almost 90% below the 300p per share offer it received and rejected from US peer Destination Maternity in 2014.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and Mothercare should have bitten Destination Maternity’s hands off to accept its second and increased offer, pitched at a 29% premium and valuing the target at £266m, four years ago.

At the time, the board argued the bid ‘significantly undervalued Mothercare and its attractive prospects’ and chose to press on with its recovery strategy. Destination Maternity, which has itself been targeted by activists, withdrew its bid, Mothercare having refused to let it pore over the books. Ouch.

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