UK Group Selfridges have acquired Arnotts department store for an undisclosed fee. Founded in 1843, the iconic retail store that resides on Henry Street North Dublin, is now under the ownership of Canadian businessman Galen Weston and his wife Hilary.
Arnotts is Ireland’s largest department store and its sale has been under intense speculation for a number of months. Weston also boasts Brown Thomas amongst his retail portfolio, as well as a number of International department stores.
The sale is part of a wider agreement which saw an agreement Fitzwilliam Finance Partners between and Wittington Canada. The former was set up in 2011 by Irish lawyer and developer Noel Smyth, whose intention was to acquire the debts associated with Arnotts debt. Wittington Canada is the holding company for the Weston group. The purchase of these loans by Wittington Canada from Fitzwilliam Finance Partners was cleared by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in August, clearing the way for the acquisition.
Arnotts chief executive Ray Hernan will step down as chief executive to “pursue new opportunities” with Selfridges appointing Donald McDonald as managing director of the business. Mr Weston said of the sale “Our family has been a significant investor in Irish retailing and the wider economy since we acquired Brown Thomas in 1971.”