IKEA branches out into consumer banking


STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - IKEA stores owner Ingka Group said on Thursday it had agreed to buy a 49% stake in financial services partner Ikano Bank as part of a push to boost its services offerings.

The consumer bank is owned by Ikano Group, which was spun off from IKEA in 1988 to the sons of the furniture brand's founder Ingvar Kamprad.

It provides financial services to IKEA shoppers in eight markets, as well as other consumer banking services.

Full financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ingka Group said it was acquiring the stake through the issue of new shares by Ikano Bank, with the option to acquire the remaining shares at a later date.

"This is a decisive step into financial services, a core part of Ingka Group’s journey to help make IKEA more affordable, accessible and sustainable," it said in an emailed statement.

Ingka's part-ownership in the bank will "maximise the potential" of the existing relationship it has with Ikano Bank, it said, adding that its digital financial services will be available to customers online or in-store.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

IKEA, which operates through a franchise system with Ingka Group, the main franchisee to brand owner Inter IKEA, is controlled by independent foundations.

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