Upmarket Australian department store David Jones said Monday an unsolicited US$1.67 billion takeover offer from a British private equity firm had been withdrawn after recent publicity.
The retail giant, which is battling weak consumer sentiment and stiff competition from online shopping, announced in a statement that EB Private Equity had withdrawn its proposal for 100 percent control of the company.
"The EBPE letter states that recent publicity around its proposal has made it difficult to proceed," David Jones said.
David Jones said it had asked for further information from the enigmatic EB Private Equity about its offer and had offered to discuss the proposal, which valued the company at Aus$1.65 billion (US$1.67 billion).
"In the light of today's advice of a withdrawal of the proposal, no discussions are anticipated," David Jones said.
EB Private Equity's website describes the firm as a Luxembourg and UK real estate and real estate-related investor, developer and private equity partner, focused on the United States, Asia and Africa.
A report in Monday's Australian Financial Review said David Jones had been seeking more information about EB Private Equity which it said was a "non-incorporated entity about which no usual public information is available".
In an interview with the newspaper, EB chairman John Edgar said: "We tend to operate in a private way."
Earlier this year David Jones warned its full-year profit could plunge by up to 40 percent as stalling consumer spending curbs demand and the growth in online shopping was costing it business.