It’s Being Reported That Central Group Will Buy Selfridges For 4 Billion Pounds ($5.3 Billion)

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UNITED KINGDOMSelfridges, also known as Selfridges & Co., is a chain of high-end department stores in the UK and it is being reported that in the next couple of weeks, it could be announced that Thailand‘s Central Group could be closing a deal to buy the company.

If the deal does close, it will reunite Vittorio Radice, who is now an executive at Central Group, with the British retailer, which began exploring a sale earlier this year following the death of Galen Weston, the patriarch of the owning family.

On Thursday, The Times of London said the Weston family had agreed a sale to Central Group, although it remains unclear whether Central is paying the 4 billion pounds asking price, or whether they are partnering with another party — a private equity, or property group — on the deal.

An industry source said that 4 billion pounds would be a hefty price for Central, which usually pursues much smaller deals. Selfridges declined to comment on the report of a sale at the time of this post.

Central is controlled by the Chirathivat family, and operates retail businesses in Thailand and Vietnam as well as Europe. Its holdings include Rinascente in Italy; Illum in Denmark, and KaDeWe, Oberpollinger and Alsterhaus in Germany.

The company has made no secret of its intentions to expand through acquisitions in Europe and Asia, but said it has little interest in the U.S. market.

One of Central’s subsidiaries, Central Retail, which operates a consumer portfolio across Thailand, Vietnam and Italy, began trading on the Thai stock exchange in February, 2020. The initial public offering raised 78.12 billion Thai baht, or $2.48 billion at current exchange, valuing the company at 253 billion baht, or $8.06 billion.

Although the markets that Central operates in lean toward bricks-and-mortar shopping, the company made a big shift to online in 2016 with the purchase of the Thai and Vietnamese businesses of online fashion retailer Zalora for an undisclosed amount.

In September, Central inked a partnership with the Chinese e-commerce giant that came with a total investment of $500 million into online retail and fintech services.

Central Group’s plan is to open multiple flagship stores on for its department stores and key retail chains, as well as for some brands owned or operated by Central Group.

The Chirathivat family is a household name in Thailand.

Central is the country’s largest retail conglomerate, and rose from a single shop opened by Tiang Chirathivat 70 years ago.

A Chinese immigrant to Thailand, Tiang founded the company in 1947, introducing fixed pricing to the country, and then later, its first shopping center. Now the family’s portfolio covers everything from shopping malls across Southeast Asia to department stores in Europe, and hotel brands like Centara, and the group employs more than 70,000 people.

Photos Credit: Courtesy


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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of For all general inquiries please email Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.