KINGFISHER STILL PLANS SPIN OFF

LONDON — Kingfisher PLC Monday insisted it was pressing ahead with a spin off of its beauty and general merchandise stores despite reports it has received takeover approaches for them.
A Kingfisher spokesman confirmed the company had received informal takeover approaches for its beauty retail chain Superdrug and its general merchandise operation Woolworths. However, he stressed no formal bids had been made and Kingfisher still planned to spin off Superdrug and Woolworths into a separately quoted public company by the end of the second quarter.
Superdrug is one of the U.K.’s largest beauty retailers and would be a prime takeover target for any overseas companies looking to break into the British market. Kingfisher reportedly has received an offer for Superdrug from Shoppers Drug Mart of Canada, which is owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Other companies potentially interested include Wal-Mart stores, which owns Asda in the U.K., and Walgreens.
The spokesman declined to reveal the names of the companies that have approached Kingfisher about Superdrug and Woolworths.

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