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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 07:39 GMT
MFI sells French kitchen business
MFI sign
The slowdown in consumer spending has hit MFI hard
MFI has sold its French retail business Hygena Cuisines to Swedish kitchen firm Nobia for 135m euros (92m), which will be used to reduce the group's debt.

The sale comes after a review at MFI by chief executive Matthew Ingle following his appointment last October.

MFI, which reported continued falling sales in a trading update in December, is to focus on its core UK operations.

"This is an excellent deal for MFI," said Mr Ingle. In January MFI's shares hit a five-year low.

Foothold in Europe

The Hygena business will continue to be managed by its current management team, and MFI will continue to supply the firm with kitchen furniture products for three years.

In addition to the business of Hygena Cuisines, Nobia is acquiring the ownership of the Hygena trademark in continental Europe.

The sale and cash receipt strengthen our ability to focus our efforts on the recovery and growth of the Group here in the UK
Matthew Ingle, MFI chief executive

It will not affect MFI's ability to expand its Howden Joinery business, which has 12 depots in France, outside the UK.

In the year ended 31 December 2005, Hygena Cuisines reported audited turnover of 195.2m euros and profit before tax of 8m euros.

The gross assets being sold amounted to 83m euros.

Mr Ingle said: "We are very proud of what the business has achieved under our ownership and I am confident that it will continue to flourish as part of Nobia.

"The sale and cash receipt strengthen our ability to focus our efforts on the recovery and growth of the Group here in the UK."

Fredrik Cappelen, president and chief executive of Nobia, said the buy would strengthen its foothold in mainland Europe, and also allow for synergies with Nobia.

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16 Nov 04 |  Business
MFI shares rally on bid rumours
04 Nov 04 |  Business

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