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Selfridges co-owner Central Group eyes up Signa’s stake amid crisis

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 3-Jan-2024

The Thai conglomerate could potentially take greater control of the luxury department store following the collapse of fellow shareholder Signa Holding

Selfridges co-owner Central Group could take greater control of the London department store as it eyes up acquiring Signa Holding’s stake in the company. 

The Thai multinational conglomerate is allegedly considering snapping up the Austrian real estate company’s stake in the retail giant following its collapse, according to The Sunday Times.

Signa Holding’s Prime Selection unit, which co-owns Selfridges, filed for insolvency last week.

It is rumoured the company’s stake in the department store may come up for sale to recover money for its creditors.

The collapse of Signa has placed Selfridges under financial pressure, with the retail giant asking parent company Central Group for cash to pay its upcoming debt commitments.

Central Group jointly acquired Selfridges with Signa for £4bn in 2022. 

Selfridges’ owners separated its retail operations and property holdings into two separate companies – an opco (operating company) and a propco (property company). 

The venture’s future then became uncertain when Signa called in restructuring experts in November 2023 in the face of a cash-crunch.

Central Group took majority ownership of the opco in the same month, with a £317m debt-for-equity deal which diluted Signa’s stake. 

Taking a bigger stake in propco is a potential option for Central Group, which would give it majority control over both group entities, reported The Sunday Times

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