February 4, 2020 / 6:51 AM / 21 days ago

UPDATE 1-Thai Central Group says buying Globus jointly with Austria's Signa for $1 bln

(Adds executive comment, details on deal, background)

BANGKOK, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Thailand's largest retailer Central Group said on Tuesday it is buying Swiss luxury department store Globus and other real estate assets in a joint venture with Austria's Signa for more than 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.03 billion).

The purchase of Globus and the real estate from Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund (MGB) is the latest expansion for Central Group, owned by the billionaire Chirathivat family, in European luxury malls.

"The transaction includes the purchase of prime Swiss properties and a hotel, with a value of over 1 billion Swiss francs”, Central Group Executive Chairman Tos Chirathivat said.

Central Group jointly owns Germany's KaDeWe Group, Italy’s Rinascente and Denmark’s Illum with Signa.

Reuters in October reported Austrian investor Rene Benko's Signa was likely to submit an offer for Globus.

"As a historical Swiss brand, Globus is a perfect fit for our European alliance with strong local presence and international recognition," said Central Group Europe Chief Executive Officer Vittorio Radice, who will assume leadership of Globus.

The deal is subject to approval from European competition authorities and is expected to close in mid-2020.

$1 = 0.9671 Swiss francs Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Aditya Soni

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