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Woolworths wins Masters stoush with US giant

MastersWoolworths can press ahead with the sale of Masters’ property assets without the consent of its former joint venture partner.

Woolies says an award in the confidential arbitration between the supermarket chain and Lowe’s means the US hardware giant must sell its 33 per cent stake in the failed Masters stores.

Home Consortium, which includes companies behind retailers Spotlight and Chemist Warehouse, reached agreement with Woolworths in August to buy Masters’ 61 hardware stores and 21 development sites for $835 million.

The deal represents around 700,000 sqm in retail floorspace around Australia.

US hardware giant Lowe’s had made claims Woolworths was negotiating the liquidation of the companies’ Masters joint venture without legal authority.

The US hardware giant accused its Australian partner of acting “oppressively” in its termination of the joint venture.

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