US Retailer Targets UK Acquisition

Aug 10, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Although it has steadfastly denied any plans for expanding outside the U.S.
for years, a report out of the UK by The Observer says Target “is eyeing
British retailers with a view to making an acquisition.”

According to the report, Target has sent two executive delegations to the UK over the past nine months. Target’s senior vice president of property development, John Griffith is said to have been among the executives sent by the company to scout out possible acquisition targets.

Among those seen as possible takeover prospects are J. Sainsbury and Matalan, a discount retailer.

Nick Bubb, an analyst at Evolution Beeson Gregory believes “Matalan will go to Asda, Tesco or an American retailer.”

Target has refused comment on the piece in The Observer.

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Target’s
reported eye to acquiring a retailer in the UK?

Target recently denied any plans to move outside its core
market in the US when it said it was not looking to purchase the Zellers discount
department store chain from Hudson Bay Company in Canada.

An unidentified retailer from the UK interviewed for The
article said, “They (Target) regretted missing out on Safeway.
This would really shake things up.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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