B&Q boss Kevin O’Byrne is to leave the company, which coincides with the collapse of parent company Kingfisher’s acquisition of Mr Bricolage.
Chief executive Kevin O’Byrne is leaving B&Q as part of an overhaul by new Kingfisher boss Véronique Laury, who beat O’Byrne to the top job at Kingfisher after former boss Sir Ian Cheshire stepped down.
The departure of O’Byrne will be announced this week as part of a restructure that will involve B&Q brought closer to French DIY chain Castorama and bring it under more direct control of Laury, according to The Financial Times.
Meanwhile, Kingfisher revealed its acquisition of French retailer Mr Bricolage has collapsed in a statement this morning.
Kingfisher said “the transaction will not proceed” but will consider “all of its options” after Mr Bricolage’s major shareholder, ANPF, refused to extend the deadline of a binding agreement beyond March 31.
As previously reported by Retail Week, the Bricolage board and ANPF, the network of franchises that holds a 41.9% stake in the company, argued the number of stores that will be forced to close or change fascias in order to get approval from the Competition Authority was greater than expected.
It is understood Kingfisher told the French Competition Authority it would close or change the fascias of 33 franchise stores and 11 directly owned Mr Bricolage stores.
Kingfisher entered a binding agreement with the shareholders of Mr Bricolage to acquire their shareholdings subject to “satisfactory” anti-trust clearance on July 23.
Under the terms of the deal, Kingfisher would have acquired 41.9% of share capital from ANPF and 26.2% from the Tabur family.
A March 31 deadline was placed within the agreement for that to happen, although an extension could have been agreed by all parties.
But ANPF has refused “any extension” to that deadline, Kingfisher said today.
Kingfisher said it was “considering all of its options” and could mount legal action.
Kingfisher would be able to sue Mr Bricolage for breach of contract because the two companies have entered into a binding agreement regarding the acquisition.