Pure Beauty

Selfridges ownership seized by Thailand’s Central Group

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 15-Nov-2023

Signa Group and Central Group acquired the department store chain for £4bn in 2021

Selfridges has been fully acquired by Thai multinational conglomerate Central Group.

The business has become the majority owner of the department store chain, after converting a loan from one of Selfridges Group’s subsidiaries into equity.

It comes after Signa Group, which had co-owned Selfridges alongside Central Group up until this point, revealed that its financial difficulties had deepened this month.

The Austrian real estate company has been hit with rising borrowing costs and a fall in property valuations, and brought on insolvency specialist Arndt Geiwitz to help it raise money.

This also saw shareholders successfully oust Signa Group chair and founder René Benko, who was pressured to relinquish his voting rights amid the financial turmoil.

“The move solidifies Central Group as an owner-operator of the largest European luxury department store group offering customers the best curation of brands, merchandise and extraordinary experiences,” said Central Group in a statement to the Financial Times.

Signa Group and Central Group acquired the department store chain for £4bn in 2021.

Previously owned by the Canadian billionaire Weston family, the sale to the Thai and Austrian companies was first unveiled in 2020.

Central Group was established by the Thai Chirativat family, and operates retail, hospitality and food and beverage businesses.

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