In News, Customers


Article by Antoine Boudet and Nicolas Madelaine published on

The British group has reached a binding agreement with the vendors of France's number three DIY store

It was at the French Embassy in London, not far from Hyde Park in one of the world's most luxurious districts, that the Kingsfisher group, owner of Castorama and Brico Dépôt in France, asked to sign the deal finalizing the announced takeover of the Mr.Bricolage group on Wednesday evening. It was a nod to David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, who asked British companies to use UK embassies - often well placed and in magnificent buildings - if it would help them. A recommendation echoed by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Opinions of competition authorities

The "binding" agreement, reached in London and still subject to the approval of the competition authorities, is expected to be finalized before the end of the European DIY retail leader's 2014-2015 financial year (at the end of January), and will enable its French subsidiaries to overtake the Adeo Group, current market leader in France with its Leroy Merlin and Bricoman banners, and overtake it with, as it stands, a 44.8% share of the DIY superstore market, compared with 37.3% for its rival, controlled by the Mulliez family group.

In concrete terms, following the purchase of the shares in the Mr.Bricolage group held by ANPF and the Tabur family (41.9% and 26.2% respectively) at a price of 15 euros per share, a mandatory offer will be made to acquire the shares of minority shareholders at the same price, for a total enterprise value of 275 million euros, including 118.5 million euros in debt. "With this third division, complementary to Castorama and Brico Dépôt, we will be able to seize attractive growth opportunities in the most important of our markets," said Sir Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher's Chief Executive, quoted in a press release on Thursday.

An atypical group

Mr.Bricolage is an atypical group, both an integrated network of eighty-one outlets, and a central purchasing group bringing together 438 independent retailers under the Mr.Bricolage or Briconautes (a local brand), as well as 290 other independent retailers without a brand. This pool includes stores eligible for the Brico Dépôt banner, for which Kingfisher has set an ambitious growth target. Mr.Bricolage has also developed an international franchise business in ten countries.

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