Galeries Lafayette in discussion with HoF for potential takeover

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

French department store chain Galeries Lafayette is currently rumored to be in talks with House of Fraser (HoF) to acquire its British counterpart, according to sources close to the matter.

This new development came forward while HoF is allegedly getting ready for an initial public offering on the London stock exchange, set to occur sometime beginning next year. HoF has been under private holding for the past ten years, but is thought to be preparing for a return to the stock market.

According to the Financial Times, the two companies are having private talks, with the French department stores given exclusivity until the end of January. Sources speculate that HoF chairman Don McCarthy, who owns 20 percent of HoF, will be asking at least 450 million pounds for the future sale of the company.

Galaries Lafayette has been struggling with a decline in sales in its home market and has begun investing in international stores in foreign markets. The French department store currently has a total of 65 stores around the world.

HoF current has 61 stores in UK and Ireland, and if the company signs an agreement with Galaries Lafayette, it would mean HoF's casual attempts to attract a buyer over the past two years will have been a success.

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