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Why Harvey Norman Should Buy Dick Smith: CSLA

Woolworths announced yesterday Dick Smith would go up for sale following pleasing results, in a bid to align the company’s core groceries and liquor business.

On the sale, CSLA analyst David Thomas believes electronics chain Harvey Norman would benefit most from acquiring Dick Smith Electronics. He cited the company’s dominating 22% market share, strong balance sheet and its history of acquisitions.

According to The Australian, Thomas doesn’t see the move threatening overall competition in the industry. He also acknowledged Harvey Norman’s earlier claims that it won’t be opening any new stores this year, but points out perhaps Harvey would rather buy some instead.

Even though Harvey Norman’s acquisition of Clive Peeters was “disastrous”, Thomas believes a conservative approach may not accurately depict the chain’s character.

“Given its poor performance of integrating the Clive Anthony acquisition, we see this as a relief,” Thomas said in a note.

According to CSLA’s maths, if Harvey Norman was to buy DSE for $150 million, earnings could be boosted by 7%. The broker also noted any price paid to Woolworths would be immaterial.

Big industry player JB HiFi has so far ruled out interest as an acquisition would see stores double up in many areas.

Read: Dick Smith Closing 1 in 4 Stores, JB HiFi Ecstatic

Yesterday, company founder Dick Smith went on a xenophobic rant claiming he would rubbish any foreign buyers. I wonder how he would feel about DSE being acquired by his long time competitor?