Central Retail Corp., one of Thailand’s largest retailers, has addressed recent rumors about its potential investment in Selfridges, a renowned UK department store. The company stated that it has not received any communication regarding such an investment and is not currently in discussions with its parent company, Central Group, on this matter. These statements were made in response to concerns over Selfridges’ financial difficulties.
Central Retail Corp. emphasized that any new investment would be thoroughly evaluated, taking into consideration its alignment with the company’s strategic business plan, appropriate pricing, and optimal timing. Similarly, Central Pattana Pcl, another unit of Central Group, asserted that any investment opportunity needs to align with its own strategy and that there have been no discussions with the parent company regarding Selfridges.
Investors had previously expressed concerns about the potential impact of Selfridges’ financial situation on Central Retail Corp. and Central Pattana, leading to a sell-off of shares in both companies. Recent accounts reveal that Cambridge Properties Holding Ltd., the owner of Selfridges, is in discussions with Central Group for future financing to meet upcoming debt payments, following the insolvency filing of co-owner Signa Prime Selection AG.
Central Group acquired Selfridges in 2022 through a partnership with Signa, and they currently co-own the property and operating business. However, the acquisition has resulted in increased interest payments on the property company’s substantial debt of £2.2 billion ($2.8 billion), necessitating support from its owners.
Central Retail Corp. and Central Pattana will closely monitor any developments surrounding Selfridges’ financial situation and make decisions based on their individual business strategies and priorities. Both companies stress the importance of aligning potential investments with their respective strategic plans.