Wednesday, 6 January 2016

"Live well for less about the same"

Ooh the delicious irony of it:

BBC 22 December 2000:

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has sold its Homebase DIY chain in a two-fold deal worth £969m. The arrangement will see its chain of stores sold to venture capitalist Schroder Ventures for £750m.

A further 28 sites, which were intended to house new Homebase stores, are being sold to Kingfisher, owner of DIY rival B&Q, for £219m...

Guardian 5 January 2016:

Sainsbury’s has made a £1bn move to buy Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos and Homebase, as it seeks to strengthen its business against the rise of the discounters and Amazon.

The supermarket group said it had made an approach to Home Retail in November, but its proposal was rejected last month...

For more of this pointless hilarity, see BT trying (but failing) to buy back O2:

BT (BT.L) has entered exclusive talks with the owners of EE for a potential 12.5 billion-pound acquisition deal to give the former UK state telecoms firm the top position in mobile as well as fixed line broadband services.

BT had been in competing talks with both the Spanish group Telefonica's (TEF.MC) rival mobile firm O2 and EE's owners, Orange (ORAN.PA) and Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), putting the 168-year-old fixed line firm in a strong position in negotiating for a return to the consumer mobile market after 13 years away...

A deal with Telefonica would have returned O2 to its original owner, as it was demerged from a heavily indebted BT via a share flotation in 2001 and subsequently bought by Telefonica in early 2006.


Tim Almond said...

16 years, no increase in value. Seems like Sainsbury's did the right thing.

In many ways, Argos and Homebase are a bit immune to Amazon. Argos is a catalogue operation with cheap stores, not all fancy stuff. I still buy some stuff there because for 50p more to pick up a new game right now rather than waiting 2 days is worth it. And heavy stuff like paint is a sod to deal with any other way than B&Q/Homebase.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, true dat.

john b said...

O2 (formerly Cellnet, the one BT used to own) is still O2 - it's currently owned by Telefonica, the Spanish equivalent of BT.

EE, on the other hand, was formed by the merger of T-Mobile (was One2One, was Mercury) with Orange (was always Orange).

Also: Sainsbury's has done jolly well on the deal, since it's picking up Homebase and Argos for the price it sold Homebase.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JB, my bad, well spotted, I have corrected the last bit.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JB, as to selling and buying back Homebase, you can't just compare the headline figure, as you well know.

S might have sold it laden with debt and the next owners may have racked up huge losses in the meantime and got it tidied up and sorted out and debts paid off. In which case it's a fantastic deal for S.

Or perhaps the reverse applies and HB was massively profitable for the last 15 years, in which case it is a shit deal for S.