DIY giant Kingfisher has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire a majority stake in French rival Mr Bricolage.

Kingfisher aims to acquire stakes held by ANPF and the Tabur family, which hold stakes of 41.9% and 26.2% respectively, at an agreed price of €15 (£12.40). This would value the deal at €275m (£227.4m).  

The acquisition would build upon Kingfisher’s already strong presence in France, where it operates the Castorama and Brico Depot retail businesses.

Mr Bricolage operates 81 directly owned stores and 435 franchised stores in France. It also has 69 franchised stores in 10 other countries as well as a network of independent affiliated stores in France.

Kingfisher group chief executive Sir Ian Cheshire said: “This would add a third, complementary strong business alongside Kingfisher’s existing two successful brands in France. The retention of Mr Bricolage’s excellent management team within the Kingfisher cadre, the addition to the Group of an established and successful international franchising operation and exposure to new territories makes this an attractive growth opportunity.”

Kingfisher said as part of the deal Mr Bricolage’s existing franchisee and affiliate network “would be maintained and its members offered improved commercial terms”.  

The acquisition of the stake is “conditional upon anti-trust clearance” and the process is likely to take until the end of Kingfisher’s 2014/15 financial year.

Kingfisher, already the largest DIY retailer in Europe, yesterday entered into a “non-binding memorandum of understanding “,  marking the start of exclusive negotiations.

The Mr Bricolage group operates primarily under the eponymous brand and also Briconautes. The group’s consolidated net turnover for the year to December 31 was €552.1m (£456.6m). Pre-tax profit was €17.2m (£14.2m).

Kingfisher operates 1,124 stores in nine countries.

Rothschild is advising Kingfisher on the deal.