Who owns Coles stores across Australia?
Coles is owned by Coles Group. Previously, Coles was owned by corporate giant Wesfarmers. On March 2018, the conglomerate Wesfarmers — which is Australia’s largest company in terms of revenue — announced that it was done with Coles and would spin it off into a separate company.
Wesfarmers clearly mentioned in media that the reason for this breakup is that they are not full satisfied with the overall performance of Coles stores.
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Previously, Coles was acquired by Wesfarmers in 207. After announcing the breakup, Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said ownership of Australia’s second largest supermarket business had helped the conglomerate outperform the market since it bought the Coles Group for $19.3 billion in 2007.
Mr Scott mentioned that Coles is growing but not at the rate they prefer. Coles accounts for 60 % of Wesfarmers tied-up capital but generates only 34 % of its earnings. Wesfarmers’ purchased Coles almost a decade ago at a time when the supermarket chain was struggling.
The deal was at the time Australia’s biggest corporate takeover.
Wesfarmers said the spin-off would allow it to focus on growing its other divisions, which include Bunnings, Kmart, Target and Officeworks, and look for opportunities to buy new businesses.