B&Q owner Kingfisher today sold a majority stake in its loss-making Chinese business to one of the country’s largest retailers for £140 million.
The deal with Wumei Holdings will see Kingfisher hand over 70 per cent of B&Q China. The chain now has 39 stores and more than 3000 employees.
Kingfisher had been on the hunt for a Chinese partner to help it develop the struggling business for almost a year. It initially realised that the Western do-it-yourself culture does not exist in the same way in China shortly after launching in 1999.
Chief executive Véronique Laury said: “I am delighted to have found a strong retail partner who will help us to release the financial value of our business in China. This will enable us to focus our financial resources and management talent on the large and attractive European home improvement market.”
Wumei Holdings has 650 supermarkets and 10 department stores in China. Retail analyst Nick Bubb said: “It looks a pretty good price on the face of it, although Kingfisher does not reveReuse content