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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Green pledges High Street battle
Philip Green
Philip Green says his shops will now "trade their socks off"
Spurned retail tycoon Philip Green has vowed to wage a High Street war on Marks & Spencer after abandoning his 9.1bn ($16.9bn) takeover approach.

Mr Green bowed out after he failed to gain the cooperation of M&S's board to allow him to study the firm's accounts.

Just as the dust settled, however, Mr Green fired another salvo, saying his group would now do battle in a High Street "judgement day" with M&S.

At the close, M&S shares were down 19 pence, or 5.2%, at 345p.

Speaking on BBC2's Newsnight programme on Wednesday night, Mr Green said: "What I am fired up about is making sure our businesses - Bhs, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins - trade their socks off."

Calm returns

At M&S it is now the job of newly-appointed boss Stuart Rose to prove that his team can deliver more value to shareholders.

They are going to have us breathing down their neck in every street and every shopping centre in the UK
Philip Green

In a statement on Thursday, M&S chairman Paul Myners said the board was pleased that the period of uncertainty had come to an end.

"We are focused on improving the performance of Marks & Spencer and delivering long term value," he said.

"Stuart Rose and the team are fully committed to the task and we have every confidence in their ability to succeed."

On Monday, M&S unveiled a reform package aimed at fending off Mr Green.

The company promised to boost profits, revamp its image and focus on winning back customers. It also will return 2.3bn to shareholders.

'Contempt'

A vital factor in M&S seeing off Mr Green was the board's refusal to give him access to company accounts.

M&S chief executive Stuart Rose
Stuart Rose will now have to meet investors' heightened expectations

Mr Green was not willing to table a formal bid within the 6 August deadline without first checking M&S's books.

Speaking on Newsnight, Mr Green said he had been treated with "contempt" and that he was surprised that the board had refused to meet with him and his advisors.

Mr Green now plans to concentrate on his other businesses, adding he was going to give it his best shot.

"They are going to have us breathing down their neck in every street and every shopping centre in the UK," he said.

"And then we'll see who the best retailer is."

In an official statement, Mr Green said he believed he had played an important part in bringing about a new direction for M&S and wished the employees and shareholders of M&S good fortune.

Head to head

The battle for control of M&S has involved two of the UK retail industry's biggest names.

1. Philip Green says considering a bid for M&S
2. First Philip Green offer
3. Second Philip Green offer
4. Third Philip Green offer
5. Philip Green abandons bid

Mr Green is the swashbuckling tycoon who made his name with the break-up of the Sears group in the late 1990s.

He has also seen success after turning around retail chain Bhs and buying the Arcadia retail group, which owns Top Shop.

Mr Rose, meanwhile, worked at Debenhams and Argos before moving to troubled cash-and-carry business Booker, where he arranged a merger with frozen food retailer Iceland.

But it was as head of Arcadia that Mr Rose secured his reputation, turning around a company lumbered with more than 250m of debt.

He also presided over the sale of Arcadia to Mr Green for 855m - making 25m out of the deal himself.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The BBC's Jeff Randall
"He pulled the plug. He just walked out of there"



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