Central Retail, a Thailand-based multi-format and multi-category retailing platform, has issued a statement denying discussions about investing in the Selfridges department store.
Selfridges is a UK brand majority-owned by the Thai retailer’s parent company, Central Group.
In a statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the company said that “it has not received any communication from Central Group or its business partner regarding the investment opportunity in the Selfridges Group.”
The statement comes amid speculation regarding Selfridges’ financial health.
Central Retail states that it will assess any new investment based on whether it aligns with its strategic business plan, is appropriately priced and is optimally timed.
The retailer added: “Any decision by the company to invest in a particular venture will be carried out in adherence to relevant procedure and regulations, prioritising the rights and maximum benefits of the company and all shareholders.”
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Central Pattana, another subsidiary of Central Group, echoed this sentiment, stating that it has not been in talks with its parent company regarding Selfridges and that any investment opportunities would need to align with its own strategic objectives.
In late December 2023, it was reported that Cambridge Properties, which owns the Selfridges store, was negotiating with Central Group for financial support to manage its debt obligations, as co-owner Signa Prime Selection faces insolvency.
Central Group, in partnership with Rene Benko’s Signa, acquired Selfridges in 2022.
Since the acquisition, interest payments on the property company’s £2.2bn ($2.8bn) debt have significantly increased, necessitating owner support for the business to remain operational.