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Weston Group receives ICA nod to acquire stake in Arnotts

RBR Staff Writer Published 29 May 2014

The Weston Group has secured the green light from Irish Competition Authority (ICA) to purchase a 50% stake in Dublin department store Arnotts.

Clothing

Following the approval, Wittington Investments, the holding company for both The Weston Group and Selfridges Group, will buy the stake through a purchase of €140m worth of loans to the retailer from Ulster Bank.

The remaining stake in Arnotts is now owned by New York-based investment firm Apollo Management.

Founded in the year 1843, Arnotts is an apparel and beauty products retailer. It also owns Boyers and Co, Dublin's oldest and largest department store.

ICA also gave go-ahead for the purchase of €230m in loans secured on the department store by Apollo Management from the liquidators of IBRC, the former Anglo Irish Bank.

In a statement, the Competition Authority said it did not believe that the transactions would lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any markets for goods or services in the State.

The Weston Group also owns Irish department store Brown Thomas and is a major shareholder in Penneys/Primark parent company Associated British Foods.

It announced earlier that it would invest and develop the 170-year-old Arnotts and its peripheral properties.

According to media reports, it is now expected that The Weston Group and its partner, property company Fitzwilliam Finance is seeking to buy out US investment arm Apollo.

Image: Arnotts is apparel company. Photo: Courtesy of photostock.