Dixons considers move to acquire Harry Moore's

 

DIXONS, the British electronic [goods giant, is believed to be in talks to acquire Dublin's Harry Moore chain. Industry sources suggested last night that negotiations between the two companies had been underway since before Christmas.

Both companies last night remained silent on the proposal, which would see the seven Irish-owned stores become part of the 800-shop Dixons empire.

The deal, if concluded, would be," likely to cost Dixons several million pounds, with the exact amount depending on profits and turnover levels, and borrowings or cash balances.

Other elements, such as the value to Dixons of the Harry Moore premises, or the leases on them, will play a part in the calculations. The Harry Moore stores in the Square, Tallaght, and the new Blanchardstown centre are believed to be key attractions far Dixons.

The Irish retailer will also point to the value added by the chain's solid reputation. Mr Harry Moore, himself was made famous by his advertisements pointing out that he had been trading in Dublin "for more years than I care to remember". The first store was opened in Dawson Street in 1943.

A sokesman for Dixons said: "We have absolutely no comment to make."

The managing director of Harry Moore, Mr Stephen Cloonan, who over recent years has become the majority shareholder in the company, also declined to comment.

Last month, the Dixons group, which has 10 stores in the North, opened its first store in the Republic. At the inauguration of the shop, in the new Jervis Shopping Centre in Dublin, company spokesmen declared that the £1.4 million move was just the first of a £10 million, 300-job expansion planned for Ireland.

"We plan to open two more Dixons stores next year and a gradual expansion programme will continue as appropriate sites become available," said Mr John Clare, Dixons group chief executive.

The acquisition of Harry Moore would instantly give the company six established premises in Dublin - Prussia Street, Dawson Street, Henry Street, Tallaght, Blackrock. and Blanchardstown. The company also runs the Panasonic shop in its former premises on Dawson Street.

Dixons started in 1937 in Southend, England.