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Central Group plans to spin off retail division

Thai mall operator Central Group will list its Central Retail Corporation unit, combining retail businesses in Thailand, Vietnam and Italy.

The listing is scheduled to take place before the end of this year and the company expects it will raise between US$1 billion and $2 billion.

“We are reaching customers in new ways through physical and digital platforms,” said Central Group president Yol Phokasub. “The platforms are especially focused on personalisation, based on data from our 27 million customers worldwide.”

Central operates almost 2000 stores in Thailand. It runs 134 outlets in Vietnam under a variety of banners, and nine in Italy, trading as “Rinascente”.

The move follows the group’s acquisition of Zalora Thailand, as well as a joint venture with Chinese e-tailer JD and an investment in ride-hailing business Grab.

Central will also delist its Robinson Pcl subsidiary with a tender offer.

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