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Monday, 15 January, 2001, 13:30 GMT
Kingfisher receives Superdrug offers
One of Kingfisher's Woolwoth stores
Analysts: Woolworth's might fetch up to 800m
Kingfisher, the retail conglomerate, has confirmed that it has received offers for parts of its business it plans to spin off.

Those expressing interest in assets such as the Superdrug pharmacy chain and Woolworth's stores are thought to have included investment banks and private equity firms as well as established retailers.

Sunday newspapers reported supermarket giants Sainsbury's and Asda owner Wal-Mart, were among the interested parties.

But the Financial Times on Monday said Shoppers Drug Mart, the Canadian retailer owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, was the only propsective buyer to have made a formal offer - that of 300m-350m for the Superdrug pharmacy chain.

Kingfisher said its demerger plans were still proceeding as intended but, in the best interest of its shareholders, it would look at any offers that arose.

"But a demerger remains the most probable outcome," a Kingfisher spokesman said.

Double or no trade sale

Most analysts agreed, saying any trade sale - as opposed to flotation - would probably have to entail selling both Woolworth's and Superdrug.

Floating one without the other would not be viable, they said.

However, firm offers for Woolworth's might yet emerge from private equity investors.

Any demerger would probably take place in April or May, analysts said.

Shares lower

They said Kingfisher's general merchandise division - which includes Woolworth's and Superdrug - would be worth about 1.5bn, with Woolworth's carrying a price tag of up to 800m.

The division's property assets would be worth about 400m, they said.

Kingfisher had announced plans for a demerger in September, saying it wanted to concentrate on its B&Q do-it-yourself and Comet electrical appliances businesses.

Kingfisher shares were lower in early afternoon trading, standing 19 pence down on the day at 468p.

The company is due to issue a Christmas trading statement on Wednesday.

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21 Nov 00 | Business
Kingfisher targets Christmas
31 Oct 00 | Business
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13 Sep 00 | Business
Kingfisher splits in two
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