Home Retail Group has completed the £340m sale of Homebase to Australian group Wesfarmers after 99.3% of its shareholders backed the deal.
The acquisition, which was first revealed back in December, was unanimously approved at a general meeting last week, paving the way for the takeover to be completed at the weekend.
The Homebase fascia is now set to disappear from the UK after Wesfarmers revealed plans to rebrand its 265 stores under the Bunnings name.
Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said: “We welcome our new employees and are excited about the opportunity to bring the best of Bunnings to the UK and Ireland.”
As previously reported by Retail Week, Wesfarmers plans to invest £500m into revamping the DIY chain. All stores will be rebranded under the Bunnings name within three to five years.
Peter Davis, a Bunnings lifer and its current chief operating officer, will take the role of managing director at Bunnings’ UK and Ireland division.
Battle for Argos
But while the future of Homebase has been settled, the fate of Home Retail’s other business, Argos, remains unclear.
Sainsbury’s had looked set to seal a £1.3bn cash and shares deal for the retailer until retail conglomerate Steinhoff made an eleventh hour all-cash bid of £1.4bn – or 175p per share – for the business earlier this month.
The supermarket giant has had its “put up or shut up” deadline extended until March 18 – the same deadline that Steinhoff has been set.
Sainsbury’s boss Coupe has said he will not overpay for Argos, but the grocer’s bosses are understood to be mulling an increased offer for the business.
According to The Mail on Sunday, the board is reviewing the £120m in annual cost savings that shareholders have been told Sainsbury’s will make from the potential acquisition.
Steinhoff, which owns Harveys and Bensons for Beds in the UK, has the approval of its largest shareholder, South African billionaire Christo Weise, to press ahead with a deal.
Weise’s investment vehicle Brait already owns fashion retailer New Look.