SUPERMARKET giant Woolworths (ASX: WOW) has been given the go-ahead to sell its Masters property assets after winning a legal stoush with former US joint venture partner Lowe's.
Lowe's accused Woolworths last year of acting in bad faith after it offloaded 82 sites to Home Consortium for $750 million as part of its exit from the disastrous Masters hardware business.
The legal wrangling initiated by Lowe's delayed the deal with Home Consortium as Lowe's was unwilling to sell its 33 per cent stake in the joint venture.
Lowe's alleged that Woolworths had pressured shareholders in bad faith as it tried to terminate the $1 billion loss-making joint venture.
Woolies announced that an award has been made in the confidential arbitration between it and Lowe's over the sale of the Masters business.
"As a result, Lowe's is now required to sell its shares in the joint venture company for a value determined by a third party independent expert as at 18 January within the range of the valid independent expert's interim valuations previously obtained by each of Woolworths and Lowe's," Woolworths announced to the ASX.
"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."
WOW shares were trading at just under half a per cent higher at $26.36 at 2pm AEST.
Business News Australia
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