Woolworths has finalised its exit from its disastrous Masters hardware venture. Photo: News Corp
Woolworths has finalised its exit from its disastrous Masters hardware venture. Photo: News Corp

Woolworths shuts the door on its Masters debacle

WOOLWORTHS has finalised its exit from its disastrous Masters hardware venture by completing the sale of its store sites.

The supermarket giant said it has completed the sale of Hydrox - the joint venture company it set up with US firm Lowe's to run Masters - to the privately owned Home Investment Consortium for a headline sale price of $525 million.

Home Consortium plans to convert the Masters stores into large format retail centres featuring outlets including Spotlight, Anaconda, Chemist Warehouse, JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys.

Lowe's handed over its 33.3 per cent stake in Hydrox to Woolworths in August, in line with federal court proceedings, allowing the local retail giant to make the final step in selling the former Masters stores.

Woolworths previously said the capital losses associated with the sale of Hydrox were about $1.8 billion.

The sale to Home Consortium includes 40 Masters freehold trading sites, 21 Masters freehold development sites and 21 Masters leasehold sites.

Woolworths began Masters in 2009 as a competitor to Bunnings, operated by rival Wesfarmers, and announced its intention to close the business in January 2016.

Woolworths shares were weaker in morning trade but recovered to close four cents higher at $24.92.

News Corp Australia

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