£4bn deal

Selfridges sold to Thai and Austrian partners


Selfridges in Oxford Street

Department store chain Selfridges is being acquired by a Thai retailer and an Austrian property company in a deal said to be worth about £4 billion.

Thailand’s Central Group and Austrian real estate company Signa Group said they had agreed to buy 18 of the 25 stores, including the flagship outlet in Oxford Street, London. Seven stores in Canada are not part of the package.

The Canadian wing of the billionaire Weston family bought Selfridges for nearly £600m in 2003.

Central Group, owned by the billionaire Chirathivat family, and Austrian investor Rene Benko’s Signa together own department stores in Germany, Italy, Denmark and Switzerland.

Selfridges was founded in 1908 and employs 10,000 staff and has stores in England, Ireland, the Netherlands and Canada.

Signa and Central hope to build a luxury hotel alongside the Oxford Street store, a source told the Reuters agency.

They hope to build a luxury department store empire around Selfridges, complemented by an online business.

The conglomerate will be managed from a holding company in London, with the potential for an eventual stock exchange listing, although local management of the stores in other countries will remain, the source said.

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