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Last Updated: Monday, 5 January, 2004, 17:09 GMT
Bid talk lifts Kingfisher shares
B&Q Warehouse store
Kingfisher runs 320 B&Q stores
Shares in Kingfisher, the owner of DIY chain B&Q, have risen following a report it could be a bid target for US giant Home Depot.

Sunday's Observer newspaper said Home Depot was considering making an 8bn ($14.3bn) offer for the UK firm.

Kingfisher shares jumped 5% in early trade, before settling back to close 2.5% higher at 288.5 pence.

Takeover speculation has surrounded the firm since it hived-off its electrical goods businesses in the summer.

The Observer report cited Wall Street investment bankers as saying Home Depot chairman Bob Nardelli could make a direct approach to Kingfisher chief executive Gerry Murphy.

The paper said Home Depot is keen to expand into Europe as it has limited expansion possibilities in America.

Kingfisher said it could not comment on market speculation.

European stores

Kingfisher employs about 55,000 people worldwide, with the bulk of its business in the UK and France.

It employs 27,500 people in the UK and operates 320 B&Q stores.

In France it has 105 Castorama stores and 57 Brico Depot outlets.

In July, it spun-off its electrical goods interests - which included the Comet chain in the UK and Darty in France - into a separate firm called Kesa.

B&Q owner builds profits
17 Sep 03  |  Business
Kesa makes market debut
07 Jul 03  |  Business
Comet demerger unveiled
17 Jun 03  |  Business
DIY boom boosts Kingfisher
04 Jun 03  |  Business

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