Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Saudi PIF ‘interested’ in buying stake in UK Selfridges

Selfridges Creative Commons/AttributionShareAlike
As well as its flagship London store, Selfridges has stores in Birmingham (above) and two in Manchester in the UK

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is looking to buy a stake in British luxury department store Selfridges after the collapse of one of its owners, as it seeks ways to improve funding flows to Saudi giga-projects. 

Austrian company Signa faces insolvency, opening up its 50 percent share in Selfridges to acquisition. The other owner is Thailand’s Central Group. 

Britain’s Telegraph reported on March 16 that PIF and French conglomerate Kering are interested parties. Kering owns luxury brands including Gucci, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent. 

A spokesman for PIF did not respond to a request for comment. 

PIF has raised $7 billion in two separate bond issues this year, as it ramps up plans to tap debt markets or secure bank loans to alleviate funding pressure on local banks amid forecasts of budget deficits until at least 2026. 

PIF owns the giga-projects at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic transformation plan. 

Some are running to meet deadlines, such as the World Expo in Riyadh in 2030 and Asian Winter Games in the Neom resort of Trojena in 2029. 

But although it is looking to divest some of its portfolio to help with funding, PIF is still on the lookout for lucrative opportunities. 

Bloomberg reported this week PIF is in discussions to acquire government-owned national airline Saudia, which is due to operate alongside PIF-owned Riyadh Air when it begins flights in 2025. 

Selfridges cost Signa and Central Group £4 billion pounds ($5.1 billion) to buy in 2021. In 2022 Brand Finance Middle East gave Saudia a brand value of $572 million. 

PIF has recently paid similar amounts for prestige brands. In December reports said it was to take a 49 percent stake in British hotel group Rocco Forte for a total £1.4 billion. 

The British economy entered a technical recession in the final quarter of 2023, impacting the retail sector. But in-store shopping has seen a rebound since the Covid pandemic ended, after taking a hit from online shopping.

Latest articles

Flooding in Dubai affected many people's homes. Emaar has promised .free repairs for its residents, and an upgraded sewerage system is planned

Emaar promises free repairs as Dubai launches sewerage system

Emaar Properties is offering free repairs to residents whose homes were damaged during this week’s extreme flooding, as Dubai also announced an AED80 billion ($22 billion) sewerage system. The developer announced on Friday that it would repair all homes in its communities affected by the historic levels of rain, “at no cost to residents”. Emaar’s […]

A customer paying with a credit card inside the Black Friday Market in Beirut. Lebanon wants more people to move away from cash

Lebanon launches plan to promote use of bank cards

Lebanese central bank Banque du Liban announced a new agreement on Thursday that it hopes will result in a rebound in the use of bank cards. As part of the agreement, Mastercard and Visa will lower card fees on transactions, particularly for people with bank accounts based outside Lebanon. In a press release, the bank […]

Construction work in Kuwait. Nurseries, schools and shops are being built for the new residential district of Al Metlaa

Kuwait signs $140m contracts for Al Metlaa development

Kuwait’s Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) has signed two contracts worth KD42 million ($140 million) to construct public buildings in Al Metlaa, a new residential district north of Kuwait City. Nurseries, stores, schools and shops will be included, state news agency Kuna reported. Electricity connections have been provided for 109 buildings in the district, […]

Iraq gas oil

Iraq to auction 30 oil and gas projects this month

Iraq will auction 30 new oil and gas projects in two licensing rounds before the end of April. The bidding round will be held on April 27, Reuters reported, citing an oil ministry statement. Last October Iraq passed a long-awaited oil and gas law, which will help the country attract more international investments into the hydrocarbon industry and boost government revenues.  Ali Metwally, an […]