The Strategist

Thailand's Central Retail to buy British Selfridges for $5.3B

12/06/2021 - 06:43

Central Retail, a Thai corporation, will purchase Selfridges, a British luxury department store, for £4 billion ($5.3 billion), said The British publication The Times, citing sources. According to reports, the purchase might be completed before the end of the year.

Selfridges is one of the most well-known department shops in the United Kingdom, with its first store opening in London in 1909. The company presently has 25 department shops in London, Birmingham, and Manchester, as well as in Ireland, Canada  and the Netherlands. The business has been controlled by the family of Canadian billionaire Galen Weston since 2003, when it was purchased for £628 million and taken private.

The company’s sales increased 7% to £2 billion ($2.7 billion) in the fiscal year ending February 2020, while earnings fell 10% to £88 million ($116 million). Although more current numbers have not been released, it is probable that the company, like other big department stores, has been affected by the pandemic; for example, Debenhams, one of Britain's oldest department store companies, shuttered this year. It was revealed in July of this year, just months after Mr. Weston's death, that his family was intending to sell Selfridges.

The Central Group began operations in Thailand in 1956, when it launched its first department store. It is currently a corporation that owns and operates shopping malls, department stores, and other retailers, as well as fast food restaurant brands. It oversees 3,700 distinct stores in a variety of nations.