Money Woolworths wins dispute with US biz Lowe's

18:21  21 april  2017
18:21  21 april  2017 Source:   msn.com

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Retailer Woolworths has won a legal battle against American retail giant Lowe ' s attempt to appoint a liquidator to Justice Foster said that neither Lowe ' s nor Woolworths said the disputes fell outside the remit of the arbitration agreement. Comment has been sought from Lowe ' s US representatives.

The US hardware giant accused its Australian partner of acting “oppressively” in its termination of the joint venture. On Tuesday Judge Lindsay Foster granted a stay of the proceedings and vacated future hearing dates, with Woolworths and Lowe ’ s to now seek to resolve all matters in the dispute

Woolworths will be able to go ahead with the sale of its Masters hardware chain © Dave Hunt/ AAP Image Woolworths will be able to go ahead with the sale of its Masters hardware chain Woolworths can press ahead with the sale of Masters' property assets after winning a stoush with former US joint venture partner Lowe's.

The Australian supermarket giant says an award in the confidential arbitration with Lowe's means the US hardware giant must sell its 33 per cent stake in the failed Masters stores.

This will allow Woolworths to complete the sale of Masters' 61 big box hardware stores and 21 development sites for $835 million to a consortium that wants to turn them into retail centres.

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Flour mill Laucke' s dispute with Woolworths deepens, with the SA company claiming six of its products have been pulled from shelves because of an ongoing cost dispute .

Woolworths is in arbitration with US retailer Lowe ' s , which is believed to have made a claim for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation "The dispute resolution provisions of the joint venture agreement survive at termination so any dispute between us should be dealt with in arbitration."

In a statement to the ASX on Friday, Woolworths said Lowe's was now required to sell its shares in the joint venture company behind Masters for a value determined by a third-party independent expert.

"As a consequence of today's award, Woolworths will be able to conclude the proposed transaction with Home Consortium without the consent of Lowe's, once the final valuation and share transfer processes have taken place," the statement said.

Woolworths' deal with Home Consortium, which includes companies behind retailers Spotlight and Chemist Warehouse, was thrown into limbo just days after it was struck in August when Lowe's launched legal action.

The US retailer took Federal Court action, accusing Woolworths of acting in bad faith after the pair failed to agree on the value of Lowe's stake.

The dispute ended up with the independent arbitrator.

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