Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China

Suning Plans To Acquire Stake In Japan's Laox

According to reports in local Japanese media, the Japanese electronics retailer Laox is in discussions with the Chinese home appliances retailer Suning and plans to sell parts of its stake to the latter.

It is planned that Laox will issue shares valued at about JPY1.5 billion, which accounts for over 50% of the company's total equity. Suning is expected to buy about 30% of these shares and will gain a seat in the board of directors of Laox.

The news has been confirmed by Suning and the company said it is indeed talking with the Japanese retailer on a possible partnership. According to Han Feng, Suning's representative for securities issues, the two companies have not reached any agreement, but equity cooperation will not be excluded. The two companies also communicated about the development of the industry and business cooperation. If they reach an agreement, it will be published shortly.

Laox is considering restructuring its business after it reported losses for nine consecutive years; while its potential partner Suning made a net profit of CNY2.17 billion in 2008, a year-on-year increase of 48%. Suning says it plans to open 200 new outlets this year.

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