Department store Selfridges is set to be sold to Thailand’s Central Group, according to reports.
The Weston family have been searching for a buyer and want around £4 billion for the retailer, which has 25 stores globally, including the flagship Oxford Street site as well as branches in Dublin the Netherlands and Canada.
According to the Times, which first reported the deal, the process could drag on until the end of the year but terms were agreed in the last few days.
Selfridges declined to comment.
The business can trace its roots back to 1908, when it was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge, and has been owned by the Westons for 18 years. The family also have a large stake in Primark.
Central Group is a family-owned conglomerate that started in Bangkok but went global when the founder’s son, Samrit Chirathivat, opened Thailand’s first department store in 1956.
It now has 3,700 shops around the world, from supermarkets to electronics outlets, and department stores in Europe.
Central Group’s non-executive director Vittorio Radice ran Selfridges between 1996 and 2003 and has been managing a department store in Italy since 2006.
His role includes responsibility for expansions in Europe.
The Weston family launched the sales process in June, a few months after the death of Galen Weston, who oversaw the move to take the department store private in 2003.
The family control Selfridges through Wittington Investments Ltd in Canada, which is separate from the UK arm that owns a large stake in Primark owner Associated British Foods.
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