The Weston Family are close to agreeing a deal with Thailand’s Central Group over the £4bn sale of Selfridges.
According to the Times, the Weston Family have reportedly agreed terms with the Thai group this week and are hoping to close the deal by the end of the year.
The news comes after it was revealed that the Weston Family had started an official auction process earlier this year after being approached by an unknown buyer.
It appointed Credit Suisse to handle the distribution of information memoranda to help encourage prospective buyers and reportedly aimed to complete a deal by the end of the year.
Central Group were first reported to be the frontrunners in the bidding process last month, when Sky News sources cited that Central was working with investment bankers at Citi on its interest in Selfridges, although at the time they “cautioned” that there was “no certainty” that a formal bid would come from the Asian group.
The Thai-based company owns Rinascente, the Italian department store, and is controlled by the Chirathivat family.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on Selfridges’ recent performance. For the year to February 2020, Selfridges sales increased 7% to £1.97bn, but operating profits fell 10% to £88m for the same period.
Moreover, annual pre-tax profits fell to £34m from £98m, even before the pandemic had taken place, due to new accounting rules of leases.
Despite this, Selfridge’s property assets alone are believed to be valued at around £2bn.