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Best Buy to quit doing business in Europe

April 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM   |   Comments

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RICHFIELD, Minn., April 30 (UPI) -- U.S. retail giant Best Buy Co. said Tuesday it had agreed to a $775 million deal to allow it to back out of doing business in Europe.

British telecommunications company Carphone Warehouse Group has agreed to buy Best Buy's half of a partnership that the two entered into in 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The partnership operates stores in eight countries in Europe.

"Many assumed that the sale would just be a matter of time, but we were determined to do our own thorough review before proceeding," Jon Sandler, a Best Buy spokesman, said in an email.

The deal, which is subject to approval by Carphone shareholders, includes $650.6 million in cash and $123 million in Carphone stock.

Best Buy has also agreed to spend $45 million to end contractual obligations associated with its European operations, the Times said.

"Each international market is different and the sale of our European operations should not suggest any similar action in our other international business," said Chief Executive Officer Hubert Joly of Best Buy, who was hired to run Best Buy last year and who is considered a turnaround expert.

With Joly at the helm, Best Buy has undertaken steps to streamline its business to compete better with online retailer Amazon.com.

The brick and mortar retailer has trimmed its workforce and is reducing the size of its stores. It is also adjusting prices to match up with Amazon, the Times said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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