Kingfisher, Europe’s largest home improvement retailer, has said today that its proposed £201m purchase of smaller French rival Mr Bricolage has collapsed.
Doubts related to the deal emerged last week after the majority of the Mr Bricolage board and its largest franchisee group, the Association Nationale des Promoteurs de Faites Le Vous-Mene (ANPF), expressed reservations.
Last July, Kingfisher struck a deal with the ANPF, which holds 41.9% of Mr Bricolage, and the founding Tabur family, which holds 26%, to buy their holdings for 15p per share. The agreement was binding, subject only to regulatory clearance. The agreement carried a provision that it would lapse if anti-trust clearance was not obtained by March 31 although an extension could be agreed by all parties.
On Friday the ANPF refused any extension.
“Consequently the transaction will not proceed. Kingfisher is considering all of its options,” it said, options which could include legal action.
Mr Bricolage shares were suspended from trading in Paris last Monday.
Kingfisher had wanted Mr Bricolage to expand on its position in France, its most profitable market, where it already trades as Castorama and Brico Depot.
The collapse of the deal comes four months after Veronique Laury succeeded Ian Cheshire as Kingfisher’s chief executive. To coincide with the deal falling through, B&Q CEO Kevin O’Byrne is stepping down from the DIY retailer as part of a restructuring by Laury that will involve B&Q brought closer to Castorama and bring it under more direct control of Laury.