Thai retail giant takes full control of Selfridges

Thailand’s largest department store owner, Central Group, has taken over Selfridges department stores, as its Austrian partner Signa is restructured.

The $5bn deal for Selfridges was originally made in 2021 by Central Group and Signa Group, but this month, CEO René Benko transferred Signa’s control to German restructuring specialists Arndt Geiwitz and resigned.

The Thai retailer is owned by the billionaire Chirativat family, ranked fourth on Forbes list of Thailand’s richest.

It will now take charge of the joint venture unit overseeing Brown Thomas & Arnotts in Ireland and De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.

Central has said that these actions ‘strengthen’ its position as owner-operator of the largest European luxury department store group.

Signa had faced trouble following the rise in interest rates, a drop in real estate values and poor management.