Li & Fung

Giordano off buyout list while CR Asia eyes bakery

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 January, 2007, 12:00am

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Hong Kong retailer Giordano International, which operates about 1,700 apparel shops in Asia, in August became a takeover target of Tokyo-listed Fast Retailing, which operates the Uniqlo clothing retail chain.


However, one month later the Japanese retailer ended its attempt to take a stake in the Hong Kong-listed firm and said: 'Giordano's current share price is not truly reflective of the operational state and thus the inherent value of the company' as Giordano's first-half operating profit had slumped 25.2 per cent to HK$184 million.


Giordano's management had also been 'reluctant to enter into any meaningful dialogue'.


Analysts say Giordano's extensive network of more than 700 stores in China and the fact that management had less than a 3 per cent stake in the company made it a logical takeover target.


Last month, Circle K operator Convenient Retail Asia proposed to buy bakery chain Saint Honore for HK$629 million.


Hong Kong-listed CR Asia, a Li & Fung Retailing unit seeking to expand its presence in Guangzhou and Dongguan, said Saint Honore's expertise in baking would help boost Circle K's sales. All mainland stores and some Hong Kong outlets under the brand offer freshly baked bread.


Saint Honore reported a 31 per cent decline in net profit to HK$41 million for the year to March.