Kingfisher in a fix over buying out Mr Bricolage

Kasmira Jefford
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EUROPE’S biggest DIY group King­fisher yesterday suffered a setback to its bid for Mr Bricolage after facing opposition from one the French rival’s major shareholders.

The B&Q owner, which makes about half of its annual profit in France, said the board of Mr Bricolage and the franchisee group ANPF, a major shareholder, “have reservations” about the takeover deal and that it has yet to receive clarification of their positions.

However, Kingfisher said that the Tabur family, another major shareholder and signatory to the agreement, remained committed to the transaction.

“The implications for the transaction are currently uncertain. Kingfisher will update investors in due course,” it said in a statement.

Kingfisher first entered exclusive talks to buy Mr Bricolage for €275m (£202m), including debt, last April. It sought 26.2 per cent of the share capital from the Tabur Family and 41.9 per cent from ANPF for €15 per share.

Mr Bricolage owns 81 stores and has 435 franchised stores. But most of these are smaller and located in urban areas whereas Kingfisher’s Castorama and Brico Depot stores are larger and in out-of-town locations, helping the group to broaden its reach.

If the parties are able to reach an agreement, the acquisition would still need to be cleared by French competition authorities and the process could take until the end of this year.

Shares fell 1.48 per cent to 367.20p.

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