Corporate disaster: A Steinhoff International Holdings logo on display outside the company’s offices in Stellenbosch, in 2016. Acquisitions including Pepkor Holdings and French furniture chain Conforama France transformed Steinhoff International. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Corporate disaster: A Steinhoff International Holdings logo on display outside the company’s offices in Stellenbosch, in 2016. Acquisitions including Pepkor Holdings and French furniture chain Conforama France transformed Steinhoff International. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Steinhoff International is selling the 17% stake in online retailer Showroomprivé it acquired in May 2017 to French retailer Carrefour for half the €157.4m it originally paid.

Carrefour said in a press release on its website on Thursday that it was buying Steinhoff’s stake in Showroomprivé held via its subsidiary Conforama for about €79m.

In the press release Steinhoff issued when it invested in Showroomprivé, then CEO Markus Jooste said it was paying the online retailer’s founders €27 per share for a 17% stake.

A Carrefour store in Africa, where the group has strategic partners. Picture: Getty Images
A Carrefour store in Africa, where the group has strategic partners. Picture: Getty Images

Carrefour said it was now buying these shares for €13.50 — exactly half the price Steinhoff paid nine months ago.

It is buying the shares under the identical agreement Showroomprivé had with Steinhoff, giving it the option to raise its 17% shareholding to a controlling stake within 18 months.

When it announced its investment in May 2017, Steinhoff said the agreement was "to leverage the complementary key strengths of Conforama’s physical retail footprint and Showroomprivé’s digital presence and mobile-centric retail platform to strengthen the omni-channel offering of both organisations in the retail market".

Carrefour CEO Alexandre Bompard said in Thursday’s press release: "This partnership is a new element in the acceleration of our digital strategy, in an omni-channel logic. It also allows Carrefour to enter the private online sales market and strengthen its offering. I am convinced of the great value of Showroomprivé’s management and the strong potential born from the operational co-operation between our two groups."

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