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Selfridges buys Dublin department store Arnotts

Selfridges Group has acquired Dublin department store Arnotts from Fitzwilliam Finance Partners, following an ongoing battle over its ownership.

In June this year, Irish businessman Noel Smyth and his firm Fitzwilliam Finance Partners, which owned half of the business, acquired its rival private equity firm Apollo Global Management’s 50% stake to secure the deal, which was thought to be worth around £70m.

Selfridges Group has today added the store to its portfolio, which includes Brown Thomas in Ireland, Holt Renfrew in Canada, Selfridges & Co in the UK, and de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.

The group is owned by Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Galen Weston and his Irish wife Hilary.

The financial details of the Selfridges transaction were not disclosed.

Arnotts was founded in 1843 and is one of Ireland’s oldest and largest department stores. The 267,000 sq ft store, located on Henry Street in Dublin’s city centre, offers womenswear, menswear, homeware, beauty, childrenswear, jewellery and accessories. It also operates a number of cafés and restaurants.

Selfridges Group said it is committed to Arnotts’ future and will invest in upgrading the in-store environment, as well as introduce new premium brands across all categories. Arnotts will continue to preserve its own unique identity.

Galen Weston, chairman of Selfridges Group, said: “Our family has been a significant investor in Irish retailing and the wider economy since we acquired Brown Thomas in 1971.”

Group managing director Paul Kelly said: “Selfridges Group is delighted to be taking over the management of Arnotts department store. We have an excellent track record leading retailing in Ireland. Arnotts will benefit from our global retail experience and continual investment.

”Our priority will be to build on the legacy of this great Irish brand and we will look to enhance the customer experience while cherishing Arnotts’ unique heritage, which has been an essential part of Dublin’s retail landscape for over 170 years.”

He added: “We were delighted to support Fitzwilliam Finance Partners and Noel Smyth in the acquisition of the Arnotts Group and we look forward to engaging with Noel in relation to his future plans for the adjacent properties, which Fitzwilliam Finance Partners will continue to own.”

Kelly has been appointed as chairman of Arnotts parent company AHRL Retail Holdings, while Donald McDonald has become managing director of the Arnotts business.

McDonald succeeds Ray Hernan, who is stepping down as chief executive to pursue new opportunities.

 

 

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