Dixons Retail has announced it is paying a €69m (£58m) dowry to rid itself of loss-making e-tailer Pixmania, despite taking full control of the operation only last summer.
The UK-based electronics retail giant revealed it has received an irrevocable offer for Pixmania from German private equity firm mutares as it unveiled a two per cent rise in quarterly like-for-like sales.
Under the proposed deal, Dixons will pay mutares about €69m in cash. This will be ring-fenced to support the development of the France-based e-tailer, which racked up losses of £31m last year.
After acquiring a 75 per cent stake in Pixmania for €266m in 2006, Dixons grabbed the remaining stake last August before closing all of its physical stores earlier this year. Chief executive Sebastian James said the retailer would "benefit from an injection of entrepreneurial vigour".
For its first quarter to 31 July, Dixons Group saw total underlying group sales inch up two per cent on a like-for-like basis.
Despite the hot summer, UK & Ireland sales clambered six per cent on a like-for-like basis.
"Against some very good comparables last year, and despite a July that was sizzling in the North and chilly in the South (affecting electronics and air conditioning sales respectively for that month) we have had an encouraging start to the year," said James.
Like buses, Dixons' announcements seem to come along all at once and the retailer this morning also announced it is flogging its ElectroWorld operations in Turkey to local outfit Bimeks.
In line with French labour codes, Dixons will enter into a consultation period with Pixmania's Works Councils, meaning the sale is far from a done deal.
Aurélien Fauvel, the head of mutares France, said: "We firmly believe Pixmania has a fundamentally strong business that can achieve long-term success in its markets and we look forward to discussing our future plans with the employees and stakeholders."
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