Australian retailer Foodland Associated has decided to abandon the sale of its Farmers department store chain after it was unable to get a suitable price for the New Zealand unit.


Foodland said it would now focus on improving performance at Farmers’ 70 stores and associated consumer finance business, which is estimated to be worth A$250m (US$164.5m).


Foodland had been in negotiations with mainly New Zealand buyers for more than three months, but none of the potential buyers were prepared to match Foodland’s payment demands.


“We were unable to agree final terms and conditions for the sale of the combined businesses,” Foodland managing director Trevor Coates was quoted by Dow Jones News as saying.


Foodland had hoped to sell Farmers in order to concentrate on its core supermarkets and wholesale businesses.