British Kingfisher, already the owner of Conforama and Brico Dépôt, plans to acquire French DIY chain Mr.Bricolage. It is in "exclusive negotiations" with the franchisees and the Tabur family.
"Improved commercial terms"
The franchisees, united in the ANPF, hold 41.9 % of the group's capital, while the Tabur family controls another 26.2 %. Kingfisher is willing to pay 15 euro per share, which would mean that it would value Mr.Bricolage at 275 million euro. It would also be willing to pay 15 euro per every other share.
"As part of the transaction, Mr Bricolage's existing franchisee and affiliate network would be maintained and its members offered improved commercial terms," Kingfisher promised. The group hopes it can finish negotiations and get anti-trust clearance by the end of its fiscal year, which is February 2015.
An extra 900 stores
The entire move would add "a third, complementary strong business" to Kingfisher's French portfolio according to CEO Ian Cheshire who considers it all to be an "attractive growth opportunity". That is even considering Mr Bricolage's downturn in net profit, which dropped 39.8 % last year, to 6.8 million euro.
Mr. Bricolage is number 3 in the French DIY market, with a market share of 12 %, following Adeo (Leroy Merlin, Bricoman) and Kingfisher itself. It had 809 stores in France at the end of 2013, with another 69 stores in 10 other countries.