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The UK remains prime location for South African buyers

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South African fashion retailer Truworths is eyeing up footwear brand Office, and is in talks with the company’s owner, Silverfleet Capital, to buy. 

A takeover price is estimated at around £300m although Truworths has neither confirmed nor denied this amount 

"No binding offer has been made and neither has any transaction been concluded with Office or its shareholders,” the company said in a statement to shareholders. 

A deal would mark the latest in a round of South African investments into offshore markets, as retailers in the region make concerted efforts to expand overseas to offset the stagnant local economy.  In January, the Foschini Group spent £140m on British clothing retailer Phase Eight, and in Juneinvestment vehicle Brait acquired fast fashion chain New Look. 

Last year Spar acquired an 80% stake in the BWG Group, a major food retailer operating in Ireland and England, while Steinhoff’s takeover bid for Pepkor would enable the furniture retailer to grow into Eastern Europe and Australia. 

Office is based primarily in the UK, offering men's, women's and sports footwear at the mid-level price range. Office's selection of footwear comprises both third party brands and its own and currently trades from approximately 150 sites, 99 of which are standalone stores while the rest are concessions across Selfridges, Topshop, House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols. The company is chaired by former Asda boss Allan Leighton. 

 

Published on Tuesday 15 September by Veebs Sabharwal

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