June 24 Electronics retailer Best Buy Co
is looking at a sale of or partnership for its Chinese business
to better focus on its U.S. business, the Wall Street Journal
reported citing people familiar with the matter.
The company could get about $300 million from its Chinese
business, where it operates under the names Five Star and Best
Buy Mobile, the report said. (on.wsj.com/1iCSN5v)
The company is working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch
to consider its options and evaluate its overseas
portfolio, the report said. Best Buy has stores in the United
States, Canada, China and Mexico.
"We don't comment on speculation or rumors on our business,"
Best Buy spokeswoman Amy von Walter told Reuters.
The world's largest consumer electronics chain, which went
into China in 2006, has struggled to fend off local rivals -
Suning and Gome - and has failed to carve
a niche in a cluttered market.
Pulling out of China would leave Best Buy without access to
one of the world's premiere growth opportunities. But it would
enable Best Buy to focus on the United States, something for
which investors have lobbied.
The move also could give the retailer more cash to invest in
businesses with better growth prospects such as mobile and
Last year, the company sold its stake in a European joint
venture to Carphone Warehouse Group.
In May, Best Buy reported a better-than-expected quarterly
profit, showing signs that Chief Executive Hubert Joly's
turnaround efforts were progressing.
Since joining in the fall of 2012, Joly has removed layers
of management, eliminated hundreds of jobs, closed unprofitable
stores and boosted Best Buy's cash reserves in efforts to stem
(Reporting by Soham Chatterjee; Editing by Bernard Orr)