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Lowe’s Still Working to Back Out of Australian Partnership

Lowe’s is still working to sell its one-third stake in an unprofitable Australian home improvement store chain after announcing in January that it was exiting Australia.

Lowe’s owns the business – which includes 63 Masters Home Improvement stores, as well as multiple operations under the Home Timber & Hardware Group brand – with Woolworths Limited. Woolworths is an Australian company that operates businesses in the supermarket, liquor, hospitality and home improvement sectors.

The Masters chain has been unprofitable to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, and Woolworths is working to find investors willing to buy the failing company.

Lowe’s efforts to withdraw from ownership have been contingent on Woolworths buying out the U.S. company’s stake at a price both companies agree on.

“The sale process for both Masters and Home is currently caught up in the complex valuation of process for Lowe’s 33.3 percent stake in the business despite talk (that) Lowe’s has given Woolworths the go-ahead to start formal negotiations with potential buyers,” The Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian daily newspaper, reports.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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