BANGKOK (AP) – Central Thai group and Austrian real estate group Signa on Friday announced plans to buy UK luxury department store chain Selfridges.
The deal, worth an estimated £ 4 billion ($ 5.4 billion), adds to Central’s collection of chic retailers that includes Rinascente in Italy, Illum in Denmark, Globus in Switzerland and The KaDeWe. Group in Germany.
Selfridges was founded in 1908 by Harry Gordon Selfridge and is controlled by the billionaire Weston family of Canada. The group owns 18 department stores including a historic property in London’s Oxford Street shopping district.
Central is the retail flagship of the Thai billionaire Chirathivat family. Selfridges is a nice trophy as it grows globally from its base in Thailand, where the retail conglomerate has numerous department stores and malls.
“We look forward to working with the leadership teams and colleagues of the Selfridges Group as we seek to build a world leading luxury retail business,” said Tos Chirathivat, Executive Chairman and CEO of Central in a statement.
Signa Holding was founded by Austrian real estate investor René Benko. In 2019, it partnered with RFR Holding to purchase the iconic Chrysler Building in New York City.
W. Galen Weston acquired Selfridges in 2003. The company was put up for sale after his death in April.
His daughter, Alannah Weston, who is president of Selfridges Group, said the sale was the “successful fulfillment of my father’s vision for an iconic group of beautiful, truly experiential department stores.”
The acquisition took months of negotiations and is subject to regulatory approvals.
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