Bunnings completes exit from U.K. market

MELBOURNE — Wesfarmers, the Australian company that owns big box retailer Bunnings, has finalized its exit from the U.K. market. Wesfarmers bought up two dozen Homebase stores in 2016 for AU$705 million ($698 million). It quickly began converting the stores to the Bunnings name. But the conversion just didn’t take off, and the company ended up losing an estimated AU$350 million ($346 million). Wesfarmers turned around and sold off the Homebase business to Hilco Capital. The outcome is somewhat ironic: Bunnings made the move into the U.K. market shortly after successfully standing up to Lowe’s unsuccessful bid to enter Australia.