Woolworths wins battle with Lowe’s over Masters

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 24th April 2017

Woolworths will finally be able to sell what remains of its Masters home improvement chain with Lowe’s forced to sell its share in the business.

The US-based Lowe’s hardware entered into a joint-venture with Woolworths to set up Masters in 2011, but after $600 million in losses, Woolworths announced its intention in 2016 to no longer continue on with the business.

It has since made plans to sell Masters’ sites to Home Consortium, which is responsible for Spotlight and Chemist Warehouse stores. Woolworths has however been prevented from doing so with Lowe’s refusing to sell its share in the business.

Late last week, Woolworths announced that an award had been made in its arbitration with Lowe’s and as a result Lowe’s is required to sell its shares in the joint venture for a value determined by a third-party expert.

“As a consequence of today’s award, Woolworths will be able to conclude the proposed transaction with Home Consortium without the consent of Lowe’s, once the final valuation and share transfer processes have taken place,” Woolworths said last week.


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