Through its parent, Kingfisher, Britain’s B&Q chain of home improvement stores will sell its interest in B&Q Taiwan for US$106.5 million.
The buyer, Test Rite International, has been Kingfisher’s joint venture partner in the Taiwanese market. Kingfisher will use proceeds from the sale, expected to close by Dec. 31, to reduce debt.
According to information provided by Kingfisher, Taiwan was the company’s first entry into Asia in 1996 with a “highly adapted” B&Q format. Supported by its joint venture partner, B&Q quickly expanded across Taiwan and today operates 21 stores and employs around 1,800 people in the country.
"Our Taiwanese joint venture has been a success, providing good investment returns for shareholders while also acting as a useful springboard for entering the large and fast-growing mainland Chinese market,” said Peter Jackson, Kingfisher’s chairman of the board. “However, after 11 years of expansion, B&Q Taiwan now offers only limited opportunities for future market share growth for Kingfisher.”
Kingfisher owns several other home improvement retail brands across Europe and in China, including Castorama, Brico Depot and Screwfix.