Central Retail Corp Denies Investment in ‘Selfridges’ but Not Closing the Door

Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited (SET: CRC) published its clarification on news regarding the Business Partner of Central Group involving Selfridges via the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).

The statement was made in response to recent news about the Selfridges business partner of Central Group, the major shareholder of Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited (SET: CRC), the company stated that it has not received any communication from Central Group or its business partner regarding the investment opportunity in Selfridges Group.

CRC noted that it will assess any investment opportunity based on three crucial dimensions: alignment with the company’s strategic business plan (Strategic Fit), appropriate pricing, and optimal timing. 

Additionally, the business venture must contribute positively to the interests of the company. Any decision by the company to invest in a particular venture will be carried out in adherence to relevant procedures and regulations, prioritizing the rights and maximum benefits of the company and all shareholders.


The statement was published following yesterday’s report about the issues on CRC investment in Selfridges.

According to the report, at the start of 2024, the stock prices of Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited (SET: CRC) and Central Pattana Public Company Limited (SET: CPN) continuously dropped, as the first decreased by 4.2% to THB 39.50 and the latter declined by 3.6% to THB 68, contradicting with the 1% rise of stocks in the same category and the trend of the market.

The key factor was the concern among investors, as Central Group (Harng Central Department Store Company Limited) and Signa Holding from Australia jointly invested in Selfridges, the department store from the United Kingdom owned by Cambridge Properties Holding Limited, in 2021. The value of the investment was THB 180 billion, with investment proportions of 50% each. 

The concern emerged when Signa Holding encountered bankruptcy and eventually filed for a business rehabilitation plan, causing the Central Group to be at risk of raising more funds or finding a new partnership to replace Signa Holding.

Meanwhile, on 28 December 2023, Cambridge Properties Holding Limited, the owner of Selfridges and a joint venture between Central Group and Signa Holding, requested Central Group to raise more funds in Selfridges after Singa Holding encountered financial difficulties and filed for bankruptcy.


Regarding the fund that were used to invest in Selfridges, Central Group borrowed 1.7 billion pound (approximately THB 73.61 billion) from Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited (SET: BBL) with an annual 3.5% interest rate, and 120 million pound (approximately THB 5.2 billion) from EFG Bank with an annual 2.85% interest rate. Central Group tentatively had the scheduled payment for loan interest to BBL in the amount of THB 2.5 billion in August 2024.

Miss Nuanpun Noiruchchukorn, Senior Director of Asia Plus Securities, stated that the fact that Cambridge Properties Holding Limited requested Central Group to raise more funds will not send any impact to Central Pattana Public Company Limited (SET: CPN) and Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited (SET: CRC) stocks, as the investment was a joint venture of Central Group, which had no involvement with CPN and CRC, despite the fact that Central Group was the major shareholder.

Meanwhile, Bualuang Securities saw the issue as negative sentiment for CRC, as Central Group once attempted to make CRC to be the investor in Selfridges, but the Board of the company did not approve the decision.

CRC is a subsidiary of Central Group, which expands its business in international retail and luxury department stores in Italy. In contrast, CPN focuses more on developing shopping malls and rental areas. As a result, the issue weighs more negativity toward CRC.