(Bloomberg) -- Currys Plc rejected a raised offer from Elliott Investment Management and said it still “significantly undervalued” the British electronics retailer that’s also drawn interest from China’s JD.com Inc. 

The UK company on Tuesday confirmed earlier reports that Elliott had raised its preliminary offer from 62 pence to 67 pence a share, valuing the chain at about £760 million ($964 million). 

Elliott’s latest rejected offer comes as JD.com considers whether to make a bid. JD.com said in a statement on Feb. 19 that it was weighing an offer, but it’s refrained from further updates since then. 

The US investment firm declined to comment. 

Currys operates more than 800 stores across eight countries, with a focus on selling everything from vacuum cleaners to iPhones to British consumers. Currys’ share price has been depressed in recent years, as soaring inflation discouraged shoppers from buying expensive electrical items.

Currys shares fell 1.3% late Tuesday, erasing gains after Elliott’s fresh offer surfaced. The shares are down 17% over the past 12 months despite a surge when the interest in the company emerged earlier this month. 

Elliott, founded by billionaire Paul Singer, is known for taking activist stakes and then agitating for change at publicly listed companies such as GSK Plc and SSE Plc. Through its private equity arm, it also owns the bookshop chain Waterstones and has a controlling stake in the Asian-style food outlet Wasabi in the UK.

London Bargains

Currys’ largest shareholder, Redwheel, has backed the company’s decision to refuse Elliott’s first offer and said the business is worth “substantially more.” Redwheel said the possible battle for Currys highlights a wider problem with the UK equity market, which “no longer seems to fulfill its primary purpose of price discovery and efficient capital allocation.”

Company bosses and some investors have bemoaned the UK’s low valuations, which resulted in a number of companies being snapped up last year. London trades at a 40% discount to global peers on a key M&A valuation measure, the enterprise value to Ebitda multiple. The MSCI UK Index has a multiple of about 7.4 times compared with 12.2 for the MSCI World Index.

Read More: British Stocks Set to Still Struggle to Catch High-Flying Peers

The latest approach from Elliott shows how serious Elliott is about trying to take control of Currys and could prompt further bidders to come forward, said Clive Black, head of consumer research at Shore Capital. 

“It knows it has got a potential opponent in JD.com,” he said. “Elliott has now brought anyone else who may be interested onto the pitch.” 

Currys directors will now be engaging with shareholders, he said. “The board is going to have to work out that delicate balance of a bird in the hand and two in the bush,” Black added.  “Shareholders, many of whom have had a poor return from Currys, will at some stage be saying they would rather take the money and move on to something else.” 

The company said last month that Christmas sales had been robust, while pressures on UK consumers are expected to fade further this year. Some analysts have said the company’s parts are worth more than its valuation as a whole.

Read More: Currys’ Largest Investor Backs Move to Reject Elliott Offer 

Elliott has until 5 p.m. on March 16 to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Currys, or walk away.

--With assistance from Swetha Gopinath, Katie Linsell, Eyk Henning and Alexandra Muller.

(Updates with analyst comment)

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