Nearly 95% of independent shareholders voted in favour of Lifestyle International’s HK$1.88bn (US$239mn) privatisation scheme. Lifestyle International, which operates the popular Sogo department store in Hong Kong, will be delisted next month after independent shareholders accepted an offer by the chairman to buy out their shares, bringing the curtains down on its 18 years as a listed entity.
The privatisation will not have any material change to the company’s existing businesses, which will continue to employ existing employees. The department store, which has branches in Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Shui, has been a major attraction for tourists, particularly shoppers from mainland China. The social unrest in mid-2019 and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020 has led to a slump in visitors including those from the mainland, affecting its sales.