Local media reports are speculating that Best Buy (BBY) might swallow all of Jiangsu Five Star, after Best Buy agreed in May 2006 to acquire a majority interest in the fourth-largest appliance and consumer electronics retailer China.
However, Robert Willett, CEO of Best Buy, said at the one year anniversary of Best Buy's cooperation with Five Star that Best Buy won't change the name and logo of the over 140 Five Star stores across China. Instead, it would stick to the double brand operation pattern as a stakeholder of Five Star.
Wang Jianguo, president and a main stakeholder of Five Star, has also told local media that Five Star has established a good relationship with Best Buy and he does not have any plan to transfer his stake to Best Buy. Wang and other top managers at Five Star still hold stakes in the company.
As one of the largest home appliance retailer in the world, Best Buy owns more than 1150 stores around the globe. Best Buy announced plans to enter China's electronics retail industry in 2005 and it invested US$180 million in Five Star in May 2006 and became one of its major stakeholders.
Best Buy plans to open two more stores in Shanghai before March 2008 and in the coming 18 months, it will increase its store number to as many as eight.