Xem thêm

Iconic Retail Group Selfridges Sold for Over $5 Billion

CEO Tinh Phung
Iconic British department store operator Selfridges & Co. has been recently sold to a Thai-Austrian joint venture for a staggering £4 billion ($5.4 billion). This monumental deal marks one of the largest retail acquisitions in...

Iconic British department store operator Selfridges & Co. has been recently sold to a Thai-Austrian joint venture for a staggering £4 billion ($5.4 billion). This monumental deal marks one of the largest retail acquisitions in the United Kingdom in recent years. The Weston family, known for their billionaire dynasty, announced that Central Group, owned by the Chirathivats, one of Asia's wealthiest families, and Signa Holding of Austria, have joined forces to purchase the prestigious retail group. The joint venture will hold an equal 50% stake in the renowned chain, according to a statement released on Thursday.

Although the actual purchase price was not officially disclosed, sources familiar with the matter reveal that it is close to £4 billion ($5.4 billion), making it one of the top 10 most significant takeovers of a UK company this year. The decision to sell Selfridges came after the Weston family received an offer from an interested party, prompting them to appoint Credit Suisse as an advisor in June.

Selfridges, founded in 1908 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, is renowned for its colossal store on London's iconic Oxford Street, which has long been a mecca for fashion enthusiasts. In addition to its flagship London store, Selfridges also operates branches in Manchester and Birmingham. This esteemed British retail institution has become a part of the collective luxury department store portfolio owned by Central and Signa, which includes established brands like Rinascente in Italy, Illum in Denmark, Globus in Switzerland, and KaDeWe in Germany.

Selfridges Group Selfridges Group will become part of the combined Central and Signa portfolio of luxury department stores [File: Bloomberg]

It is worth noting that Selfridges was purchased by Canadian businessman Galen Weston in 2003 for nearly £600 million. Under his ownership, the business expanded to include other department store chains such as Arnotts and Brown Thomas in Ireland, Holt Renfrew in Canada, and De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands. With an impressive portfolio, the Selfridges Group operates 25 stores worldwide across its five brands.

However, it is important to highlight that the recent sale to Central and Signa does not include Holt Renfrew, which will remain under the control of the Weston family.

Central Group, a fourth-generation family-owned company involved in various industries including real estate, retailing, hospitality, and restaurants, is partnering with Signa, founded by retail and real estate entrepreneur Rene Benko. Benko is known for owning or having stakes in some of the world's most renowned properties, including the iconic Chrysler building in New York.

Despite the challenges faced by the retail industry, Selfridges has shown resilience throughout the ongoing pandemic. As one of the world's most illustrious department stores, a significant portion of its value lies in its prime real estate holdings on London's Oxford Street. The company owns a vacant plot of land at the back of the store, where plans for a hotel, leisure facilities, and office spaces were previously considered.

The sale of Selfridges will see it become an integral part of the combined luxury department store portfolio owned by Central and Signa, further solidifying its global presence. This deal represents a new chapter for Selfridges and sets the stage for continued success in the ever-evolving world of retail.

Conclusion

Selfridges, once a modest establishment founded in 1908, has transformed into a global retail powerhouse. With its sale to Central and Signa, this iconic British institution enters a new phase of growth and expansion. Selfridges' legacy as a leading luxury department store continues, as it joins forces with other esteemed brands under the Central and Signa umbrella. As the retail landscape evolves, Selfridges remains committed to delivering exceptional experiences to fashion enthusiasts worldwide while embracing the future of retail.

1