M&S Sells Kings, Finally

Jul 23, 2002

The Guardian reports that Marks & Spencer ended its American venture with the sale of its East Coast supermarket chain to D’Agostino Supermarkets for $160 million. The UK retailer had acquired Kings for $110 million 14 years ago. Last year, the chain of 29 stores in New Jersey made a profit of $18 million.

Gourmet supermarket operator Gristede’s had been expected to acquire Kings with an exclusive arrangement to acquire the business last month. However, talks with other possible buyers reopened after it was unable to close a deal at the end of the five weeks it had been given.

Marks & Spencer has also withdrawn from continental Europe as part of its restructuring. It had hoped to sell its Hong Kong subsidiary but rethought the proposal after failing to come to an agreement with possible franchisees. The stores have been retained as a subsidiary but are run on a franchise basis by local managers.

Moderator Comment: What will D’Agostino ownership mean for Kings? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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