Wesfarmers has revealed that the Supreme Court of Western Australia has today approved the scheme of arrangement for the demerger of Coles Group Limited from Wesfarmers.
The demerger was approved by shareholders at a General Meeting and Scheme Meeting, which was held last week.
In a statement about the Supreme Court approval, Wesfarmers said: “Wesfarmers intends to lodge a copy of the orders made by the Supreme Court of Western Australia with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on Tuesday, 20 November 2018 and the Scheme will be effective on that date.
“Coles is expected to commence trading on ASX on Wednesday, 21 November 2018 under the ASX code ‘COL’, initially on a deferred settlement basis. Wesfarmers will trade on an ex-entitlement basis from Wednesday, 21 November 2018. The Demerger is expected to be implemented on Wednesday, 28 November 2018.”
Speaking after last week’s vote by shareholders, the Managing Director of Coles, Steve Cain, said the approval meant Coles was poised to embark on a new chapter in its 104-year history as an independent listed company.
“The Coles transformation under Wesfarmers ownership has been remarkable – with the store base renewed, a step change in fresh food quality, and a significantly better value position all aimed at improving our offer to Australian consumers,” Cain said.
“We are now implementing the Fresh Tomorrow strategy which is focused on making life easier for our customers with more convenient locations, products and home shopping.”
Last month Wesfarmers Managing Director Rob Scott said the demerger represented a significant repositioning of the Group’s portfolio and would set up Wesfarmers for success over the next decade.
“The demerger will reposition the Group’s portfolio to target a higher capital weighting towards businesses with strong future earnings growth prospects,” Scott said. “After the demerger, Wesfarmers will have a portfolio of cash generative businesses, with strong returns on capital, good momentum and leading positions in their respective markets.”
Wesfarmers plans to retain a minority ownership interest of 15 per cent in Coles and a 50 per cent interest in the flybuys joint venture with Coles.