WUMEI HOLDINGS, one of China’s leading retail chain store operators, is taking a 70% controlling stake in Kingfisher’s B&Q business in China.
The transaction, subject to approval by the Chinese authorities, is expected to be completed in the fi rst half of this year.
Kingfisher is the third largest home improvement retailer in the world, with 1,176 stores in 11 countries in Europe and Asia. Its main retail brands include B&Q, Castorama and Screwfi x.
B&Q China opened its fi rst store in China in 1999.
The deal — involving a total cash consideration of £140 million (US$211 million) — follows an earlier announcement by Kingfisher that it would seek a strategic partner to help develop its B&Q business in China. This, in turn, will enable Kingfisher to focus its financial resources and management talent on the European home improvement market.
Wumei, founded in 1994, is based in Beijing. It has a retail network of around 650 supermarkets and 10 department stores in northern, eastern and western China. It is also the controlling shareholder of Hong Kong-listed Wumart Stores and Shanghai-listed Xinhua Department Store.
Its brands include Wumart, Jingbei Shopping Mall, Merrymart, Xinhua Department Store, Zhejiang Gongxiao and Laodafang.