Woolworths closes door on Masters saga

Simone Ziaziaris | 12 Oct 2017

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SYDNEY - [AAP] Supermarket giant Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW) has finalised its exit from its disastrous Masters hardware venture by completing the sale of its store sites.

Woolworths announced on Thursday it has completed the sale of Hydrox--the joint venture company it set up with US firm Lowe's to run Masters--to the Home Investment Consortium.

Home Consortium plans to convert the Masters stores into large-format retail centres featuring outlets including Spotlight, Anaconda, Chemist Warehouse, JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys.

Lowe's handed over its 33.3 per cent stake in Hydrox to Woolworths in August, in line with federal court proceedings, allowing the retail giant to make the final step in selling the former Masters stores.

Woolworths previously said the capital losses associated with the sale of Hydrox were about $1.8 billion.

The sale to Home Consortium includes 40 Masters freehold trading sites, 21 Masters freehold development sites and 21 Masters leasehold sites.

Woolworths announced its intention to close Masters in January 2016, after starting the business in 2009 as a competitor to Bunnings, operated by rival Wesfarmers.

 

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