Central Group and partners spend more than 5 billion USD to buy British fashion store chain

Central Group and partners spend more than 5 billion USD to buy British fashion store chain

Fashion chain Selfridges will be sold to Central Group (Thailand) and an Austrian real estate company in a deal worth about 4 billion pounds (equivalent to 5.37 billion USD).

Inside the Selfridges store in London. Photo: AFP

The alliance between the Thai retail giant Central Group and the real estate company Signa Group (Republic of Austria) has revealed that it has reached an agreement to buy the luxury fashion chain Selfridges with the famous boutique. The most famous is located on Oxford Street, London.

The Central – Signa alliance previously cooperated to acquire a series of large fashion store chains in Germany, Italy, Denmark, and Switzerland. Central Group is owned by the Chirathivat family – the 3rd richest family in Thailand with an estimated fortune of more than 15 billion USD. Signa Group was founded by Mr. Rene Benko, one of the richest people in Austria.

SelfridgesFounded in 1908, now has about 10,000 employees and 25 stores worldwide, concentrated mainly in the major cities of Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Canada.

Before joining the Central – Signa alliance, the Selfridges fashion store system was bought by the Weston billionaire family in Canada for nearly £600 million in 2003.

Under the deal, Central and Signa will take over 18 of Selfridges’ 25 fashion stores and plan to build a luxury hotel next to Selfridges’ flagship store on Street, Reuters news agency, citing people familiar with the matter, said. Oxford, one British fashion paradise stretches almost 2km. However, the remaining seven Selfridges stores in Canada are not included in the agreement.

With the acquisition of Selfridges, Central and Signa aspire to build a luxury fashion empire fueled by their online business. The alliance plans to increase its revenue from 5 billion euros to 8 billion euros ($9.1 billion) by 2024, of which about 1 billion euros will come from online sales.

Central Group started its business with its first department store in 1956, and has since grown to become the largest retail chain in Thailand with about 2,400 stores. Central Group is entering an e-commerce joint venture with China’s JD.com and holds a stake in Grab.

Central Group entered Europe in 2011 with the acquisition of the Italian luxury chain La Rinascente SpA for 205 million euros. In 2013, Central Group continued to acquire Illum – the oldest fashion store chain in Denmark.

In 2015, Central Group acquired a large number of shares in 3 luxury store chains in Germany from Signa Group. Last year, Central and Signa jointly bought the luxury chain Globus (Switzerland) and other properties for more than 1 billion Swiss francs (equivalent to 1.1 billion USD).

In addition, Central and Signa teamed up with Japanese retail giant Aeon to develop an e-commerce platform in one of the world’s fastest-growing online sportswear retail markets.

On the side of Signa Group, the owner of this group – billionaire Rene Benko – has made his name from his initial investment in real estate, before encroaching on the field of fashion and luxury goods. . In 2019, billionaire Rene Benko teamed up with real estate company RFR Holding to buy the iconic Chrysler Building in New York City for about $150 million.