Listen to this Article Now
Selfridges, the luxury British department store, is being sold to a Thai retailer and an Austrian property group in a deal valued over 4 billion pounds ($5.37 billion), according to a source familiar with the issue.
Thailand’s Central Group and Austria’s Signa Group, which already run significant department stores across Europe, announced on Thursday that they had reached an agreement to buy the chain best known for its London flagship on Oxford Street. In 2003, the Weston family’s Canadian wing purchased Selfridges for roughly 600 million pounds.
The billionaire Chirathivat family owns Central Group, and Austrian investor Rene Benko’s Signa owns department stores in Germany, Italy, Denmark, and Switzerland.
The Selfridges Group, which was founded in 1908, employs 10,000 employees and operates 25 locations across the globe, including major cities in England, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Canada. According to the source, Signa and Central will take over 18 of the 25 stores and plan to develop a luxury hotel near the Oxford Street flagship.
Seven department stores in Canada will not be included in the deal. They intend to develop a luxury department store empire with Selfridges, which will be supplemented by an online operation.
According to the source, revenues are expected to rise from roughly 5 billion euros to 8 billion euros ($9.1 billion) by 2024, including more than 1 billion online. Although local administration of the stores in other countries would stay, the conglomerate will be administered from a holding company in London, with the possibility of an eventual stock exchange listing, according to the source.
Central founded its first department store in 1956 and has since grown to be Thailand’s largest mall owner, with around 2,400 retail outlets. It has a joint venture with China’s JD.com in the e-commerce space (NASDAQ: JD). com as well as stakes in Southeast Asia ride-hailer Grab Holdings.