Kingfisher bids for French rival Mr Bricolage

 
Kasmira Jefford
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EUROPE’S biggest home improvement retailer Kingfisher has bolstered its presence in France by agreeing to buy smaller rival Mr Bricolage for €275m (£227m) including debt.

The B&Q owner, which makes about half of its annual profit in France, said it has entered exclusive talks to buy 26.2 per cent of the share capital from the Tabur Family and 41.9 per cent from franchisee group ANPF for €15 per share.

Chief executive Sir Ian Cheshire said the deal would add “a third, complementary strong business” alongside its two existing brands in France, Castorama and Brico Depot.

“The retention of Mr Bricolage’s excellent management team within the Kingfisher cadre, the addition to the group of an established and successful international franchising operation and exposure to new territories makes this an attractive growth opportunity,” he said.

The group warned that the acquisition would need to be cleared by French competition authorities and that the process could take until 2015.

Mr Bricolage, which has a market value of €136m, owns 81 stores and has 435 franchised stores.

However, 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.

Shares rose three per cent to 444.20p.

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