B&M, which operates more than 650 stores across the UK, acquired the 89-strong Jawoll retail chain in Germany in 2014 – its first overseas acquisition. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool-based value retailer B&M has completed the sale of its poorly-performing German division in a deal worth €12.5m.
B&M, which operates more than 650 stores across the UK, acquired the 89-strong Jawoll retail chain in Germany in 2014 – its first overseas acquisition. But problems with distribution and poor sales had dogged the unit and it suffered annual losses of more than £15m in 2019.
In November, B&M revealed a 70% plunge in pre-tax profits to £32.2m, mainly down to a impairment charge of £59.5m on the Jowell business. A turnaround strategy was put into place but now the Speke-based group has decided to cut its losses.
It has sold its 80% shareholding in Jawoll to a purchasing consortium led by AC Curtis Salta GmbH, a company funded by Adiuva Capital. The purchaser consortium also includes Wiebke Stern, Sebastian Dorin, Alexander Dorin, STIWEC GmbH and Jalogy Beteiligungs GmbH.
B&M still retains overseas interests, despite the sale of Jawoll. It also operates 99 Babou stores in France. It also operates 290 outlets under the Heron frozen food brand in the UK.
In a trading update in January, B&M said its sales growth in the run-up to Christmas was slower than anticipated amid a “challenging” market. Revenues in the 13 weeks to December 28, came in at £957.4m, a like-for-like increase of 0.3% against the same period in 2018.