Australia's David Jones down on concerns about PE bid

SYDNEY, July 2 Mon Jul 2, 2012 1:12am BST

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SYDNEY, July 2 (Reuters) - Shares in Australia's David Jones fell 8 percent on Monday on doubts that a $1.7 billion takeover approach from an unknown British private equity firm will amount to a bid.

David Jones said on Friday it had received an unsolicited bid from a consortium led by EB Private Equity, a firm it said it did not know much about and was unknown to many market players, prompting speculation the bid was a hoax.

EB Chairman John Edgar has told Australian newspapers his company first offered A$1.52 billion ($1.56 billion) in a letter to the board of David Jones in May and increased that last week to A$1.65 billion, but had not expected the initial approaches to be made public.

Shares in David Jones, which jumped 15 percent on Friday, gave up about half those gains, trading as low as A$2.37. (Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Paul Tait)

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