Thailand’s largest department store owner, Central Group, has taken control of Selfridges, according to a report by Reuters, which cited the company’s statement.

The announcement comes as Selfridges’ co-owner and Rene Benko’s Austrian real estate company Signa faces restructuring due to liquidity issues.

Rene Benko handed over control of Signa to a restructuring expert this month.

Central Group and Signa purchased Selfridges Group from the Weston family in a deal valued at approximately $5.4bn in August 2022.

The two companies acquired the department store chain in a 50-50 partnership.

At the time of acquisition, Selfridges’ portfolio included 18 stores under four banners in three countries.

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By GlobalData

It operates as Selfridges in England, De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands and Brown Thomas & Arnotts in Ireland. Its e-commerce platforms attract more than 30 million online visitors monthly and ship to more than 130 countries across the globe.

Selfridges is best known for its flagship store on Oxford Street in London, which occupies an entire city block. Reuters reported that Central Group will also take ownership of their businesses in Ireland and the Netherlands.

Citing those familiar with the financing, Bloomberg reported that the company will gain a majority stake in the joint venture by converting the loan of €360m ($391m) it provided in August.

Following the transaction, no changes will be made in the ownership of the companies holding the underlying properties.