Thailand’s Central Retail eyes potential investment in Selfridges

Photo courtesy of Central Retail (Facebook)

Central Retail Corp., a leading retailer in Thailand, indicated potential interest in investing in Selfridges, the renowned department store, given the right circumstances.

The company outlined their investment criteria in a recent statement to the Thai stock exchange, stating that any new venture must align with its strategic business plan, be reasonably priced, and have optimal timing.

The company made it clear that Central Group, its parent company and the majority owner of Selfridges since November, has not approached them about this investment.

This response came in the wake of reports suggesting that Central Group is actively seeking new investment partners, potentially due to a looming financial crisis at Selfridges, reported Bangkok Post.

Recent accounts revealed that the department store’s holding company, Cambridge Properties Holding Ltd., is currently in talks with Central Group regarding future financing to settle impending debts. This development emerged after Signa Prime Selection AG, co-owner of Cambridge, filed for insolvency.

With a diverse portfolio of businesses, including malls in Vietnam, Italy, and Thailand, Central Retail declined an offer to invest in Selfridges in 2022. The company reiterated in its statement that any investment decision would have to present positive implications for the company and prioritise maximum benefit for its shareholders.

In 2022, Central Group, in partnership with Rene Benko’s Signa, acquired Selfridges. Besides co-owning the property and operating the business, they also shoulder the responsibility of the property company’s escalating interest payments on its 96.8 billion baht (US$2.8 billion) debt. As a result, the company relies heavily on its owners for financial support.

Central Group’s control extends to other department stores within the Selfridges group, such as Brown Thomas & Arnotts in Ireland and De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.

In related news, Central Retail Corporation Limited (CRC) in collaboration with Ant Group has introduced Alipay+ a comprehensive international digital payment platform.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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