Thailand based conglomerate eyeing on UK department stores Selfridges


London November 2021

Central Group, a Thai conglomerate that owns the Italian department store chain La Rinascente and the German department store chain KaDeWe, is one of the prospective purchasers of Selfridges. Central Group, which is headed by the Chirathivat family, is one of several companies who have indicated interest in acquiring the world recognized store, according to Sky News.

Central was engaging with Citi investment bankers on its interest in Selfridges, according to sources, however they stressed that a formal proposal from the Asian conglomerate was not certain. If one materializes, it opens up the tantalizing possibility of Vittorio Radice returning to the company in some position, as he did from 1996 to 2003.

On Thursday, one banker suggested that Central Group’s offer for Selfridges might be built with the help of additional investors. Following an unsolicited offer from an anonymous bidder, Selfridges was essentially put on the market early this year, with a reported asking price of GBP 4 billion (US$ 5,3 billion).

Although a Qatari sovereign wealth fund QIA (owner of Harrods) and Hong Kong department store owner Lane Crawford have been mentioned as potential bidders in recent months, it is unclear whether that party is still involved in the process. The process is projected to take through the first half of 2022, however an agreement might be announced sooner.

The sale excludes the company’s owners, the Weston family, from its Canadian activities. Following a bidding war that featured former high-street magnate Sir Philip Green, the Westons purchased Selfridges and its main Oxford Street shop in 2003 for over GBP 600 million.

Despite the fact that Galen Weston, the company’s founder, died earlier this year, family members such as Alannah, Selfridges’ chairman, remain active in the company. Harry Gordon Selfridge founded the Oxford Street store in 1908, and it has since become one of the most prominent locations in the world.

Given its positioning in the department store industry, Central Group would be a natural bidder for Selfridges. Central Retail Corporation, a Thai-listed subsidiary, also controls substantial retail businesses across Asia.

Related Articles


Luxury recruiting ?

JOBLUX is a community for professionals who breathe and live luxury.
If you are just looking for a job, may be Linkedin and Indeed are a better match.
However, If you speak the language of luxury, you are in !