( dpa ) - A Dubai-based retail giant has made an unexpected bid for Singapore's oldest retailer, Robinson & Company, news reports said on Monday.
The 150-year-old department store chain received the takeover offer from the al-Futtaim Group, a conglomerate operating more than 100 companies mainly in the Middle East in real estate, construction, insurance, electronics and cars.
It "intends to accelerate" Robinson's recent expansion and use the retailer for its own foray into South-East Asia, The Straits Times quoted the group as saying in a statement.
Al-Futtaim's portfolio includes the Ikea and Toys "R" Us brands for the UAE. Al-Futtaim also runs nine Marks & Spencer stores, a British brand.
The group is valuing the retailer at 537 million Singapore dollars (378 million US dollars), on the condition of obtaining more than 50 per cent of Robinson's issued share capital.
Indonesia's Lippo Group in 2006 bought a 29.9 per cent in Robinson's. The retailer has been expanding since then and opened a store in Kuala Lumpur.
Shareholders in the past have fought against Robinson falling into foreign hands.
A board meeting will be convened and Lippo intends to appoint an adviser on its next move, the newspaper said.