Following speculation that money raised from the sale of six B&Q stores would be used to fund Kingfisher’s transformation plan, the global home improvement giant has said this is not the case.
A report in the Sunday Times suggested that Kingfisher CEO Veronique Laury was hoping to raise £125million via the sale and leaseback of six B&Q stores in order to help fund Kingfisher's five-year turnaround plan, One Kingfisher. Subsequent news outlets have picked up on the story and continued the rumours.
However, while Kingfisher has today confirmed the sale leaseback process, it insists it is not linked to the transformation plan, with a spokesperson adding that the company has “net cash on the balance sheet, profits of more than £700million a year, and no pension fund deficit”.
Kingfisher said: “We are exploring opportunities for the sale and leaseback on a small number of B&Q properties. These are good stores, in good locations where B&Q operates successfully. As a normal course of business, we regularly review our property portfolio to ensure it is operated as efficiently as possible.”
The stores in question are Birmingham, Croydon, Southampton, Cardiff and two in the north east of England.