CEO Morning Brief

Japan's Seven & i Expands 7-Eleven Empire With Purchase of Australian Franchise

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Publish date: Fri, 01 Dec 2023, 09:15 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

SYDNEY (Nov 30): Japanese retail conglomerate Seven & i Holdings said on Thursday it had agreed to purchase the 7-Eleven convenience store chain in Australia for A$1.71 billion (US$1.1 billion or RM5.28 billion), further expanding its ownership of the brand.

The Australian convenience and petrol retailer, owned by the Withers and Barlow families, kick-started the process to sell the business — which consists of 751 stores — earlier this year.

The deal will allow Seven & i to establish "itself as the clear industry leader in the Australian convenience store market, which has significant growth potential", the Japanese company said in a statement.

It added that it saw room for further growth by actively opening new stores in most Australian states.

Seven & i's corporate predecessor first licensed the 7-Eleven franchise from US-based Southland Corp in 1973. But the Japanese conglomerate later took over the US company in 1991, and now controls more than 80,000 7-Eleven convenience stores around the globe.

Its sprawling retail empire also includes Speedway gas stations in the US and Ito-Yokado supermarkets in Japan.

The company has, however, come under pressure by analysts and investors to restructure and shed underperforming assets.

Earlier this year, Seven & i faced down a board challenge from US-based activist fund ValueAct Capital, which had urged the company to consider a spin-off of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain.

Seven & i has since taken some steps to reshape its structure. This year, it closed 14 Ito-Yokado supermarket stores in Japan, exited its apparel business, and completed a sale of its Sogo & Seibu department store unit.

Source: TheEdge - 1 Dec 2023

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