Jardines sells Australian supermarket chain

JPMorgan is close to completing one of the year''s more challenging M&A transactions.
When JPMorgan took on the role of adviser to Jardine Matheson subsidiary Dairy Farm, in its bid to sell off its ailing Australian supermarket chain Franklins, many could have been forgiven for thinking this was the MA equivalent of a poison chalice.

Buyers looked thin on the ground, especially since the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ACCC had made it clear that the chains 255-store network could not be sold en masse to either of the major chains, ColesĀ and Woolworths.

Add to that the fact that Franklins had stumbled from one PR disaster to another and lost a combined $100 million in 1999 and 2000. Moreover, in February, Dairy...

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