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The London Times reports that UK officials have told retail entrepreneur Philip Green that he has until August 6 to make a firm bid for troubled retailing icon Marks & Spencer, or will have to wait six months before making another.

Green has made two offers to this point, but both have been rejected by the company’s board as undervaluing the chain’s worth. Green also has said that he is prevented from making an acceptable offer by the fact that the board won’t give him details about Marks & Spencer’s pension obligations; he has even said that if those obligations are out of whack (our wording, not his), he might not even pursue an acquisition bid.

Meanwhile, over the weekend it became public knowledge that Green’s interests have not been limited to Marks & Spencer, and that he approached Sainsbury about buying that company for the equivalent of more than $11 billion (US) last year. He was spurned by Sainsbury, and so then moved on to Marks & Spencer.
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