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Kingfisher plc

Kingfisher plc is a UK high-street retailer formed in 1982 by the buyout of Woolworths by Paternoster Stores Ltd. Subsequent acquisitions of companies such as B&Q, Superdrug, Comet and MVC expanded the group, which was renamed Kingfisher plc in 1994.

Further acquisitions of European companies such as Castorama, BUT and Wegert enabled the group to grow to become the largest general retail group in the UK. In 1999, Kingfisher attempted a takeover of Asda, one of the UK's largest supermarket chains, only to be pipped to the post by Wal-Mart. Coupled with an acrimonious battle for control of Castorama, the resultant share price pressure forced the sale and demerger of several parts of the group by 2001, until the demerger of the electricals business to form KESA in 2003 caused the group to refocus entirely around DIY.

The Group was led between 1984 and 2002 by Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy who became renowned for his taciturn public persona, lengthy decision-making and love of sailing. Largely through his influence, Kingfisher became the major sponsor of British sailor Ellen MacArthur.




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