Kingfisher rejects private option

The retailing group had been considering a management buy-out.

Chief executive Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy has decided the public-to-private plan, brought forward by Goldman Sachs, was not suitable at the moment.

The Financial Times says the deal would have valued the business at more than £11 billion (E18.4 billion), a 40% premium to its then share price.

Even with the agreement of Sir Mulcahy, the size of the deal would have made it difficult even for a consortium of large private equity firms to raise the necessary financing on currently volatile global debt markets.

But the fact that a private option was even being considered, shows how deeply frustrated some large old economy companies are with their present market valuations.