Canadian billionaire Weston family are considering a potential sale of some of their department store assets in Britain and Ireland, after a £ 4bn ($ 6.86bn) offer from a potential buyer for Selfridges Group .
The talks, which are in the preliminary stages, concern upscale department store chain Selfridges, and could also involve other chains like Arnotts and Brown Thomas in Ireland, according to a source familiar with the matter. The Globe and Mail does not identify the source as they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
Assets outside of Britain and Ireland – like Canadian luxury department store Holt Renfrew, which is also owned by parent company of the Selfridges group – are not part of the offering, according to the source.
The Westons receive advice on the future of the business from Credit Suisse. The potential deal was first reported on Thursday by React News, a UK property industry publication.
The Selfridges Group and Credit Suisse both declined to comment.
Weston’s luxury retail business grew under the leadership of W. Galen Weston, who died in April. Mr. Weston bought a stake in Dublin’s Brown Thomas department store in 1971 and bought the entire business in 1983. He also bought Holt Renfrew in 1986.
The family’s private holding company, Wittington Investments Ltd., bought Selfridges PLC for US $ 1 billion in 2003. The Selfridges Group then bought the Bijenkorf luxury department store chain in the Netherlands in 2010 and sold them. Ogilvy department stores in Montreal in 2011 Mr. Weston’s daughter, Alannah, is currently President of the Selfridges Group. Son Galen G. Weston is the majority shareholder of Wittington.
Selfridges isn’t the only asset Wittington plans to sell: Canadian parent company George Weston Ltd. , which Wittington controls, announced earlier this year that it was putting its Weston Foods bakery business up for sale in order to focus on its real estate holdings. and retail operations. George Weston Ltd. also owns majority stakes in the grocer Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.
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