De Bijenkorf, along with other department stores from the British Selfridges Group, will be in Thai hands. An insider confirms this to Bloomberg news agency after reports in British media.
The Canadian billionaire family Weston has long wanted to get rid of the retail business and is said to have reached an agreement with the Thai conglomerate Central Group.
In addition to the seven Bijenkorf stores in the Netherlands, Selfridges owns department stores under its own brand name and several chains in Ireland and Canada. The 25 stores in total are now under the care of the same group that already owns the renowned Berlin department store Kaufhaus des Westens, KaDeWe for short. The Thais also own the Italian department store chain Rinascente.
Selfridges and Central Group declined to comment. The deal may be officially announced later this month.
In June, reports appeared that the Weston family wanted to sell the luxury retail group for 4 billion pounds, or € 4.7 billion. Advisors from investment bank Credit Suisse guided the search for a new owner, the Guardian newspaper reported.
Selfridges department store chain was founded in 1908 by Harry Gordon Selfridge. The most famous is the monumental shop on London’s Oxford Street. De Bijenkorf, then still owned by Maxeda, was transferred to the Selfridges Group in 2011. Eighteen months later, the Bijenkorf announced that it would close five of the twelve stores.
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