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Seven up for share of Halfords.

Japan's largest car accessories retailer Autobacs Seven has paid approximately pounds 35 million for a five per cent stake in Halfords, the Worcestershire-based car parts and cycle chain.

Autobacs said it acquired the holding, some 11.4 million shares, to "further develop" the two companies' collaboration agreement that was signed in July.

On Monday CVC, Halfords' private equity backer, sold eight million shares in the Redditch-based company, reducing its holding from 20 per cent to 15 per cent.

Autobacs, which has 572 stores employing 4,000 people in Japan, is believed to have purchased these shares. The July collaboration deal fuelled speculation that Autobacs could emerge as a potential bidder for Halfords.

But last month Halfords chief executive Ian McLeod played down an extension of the agreement: "We signed a memorandum of understanding - it doesn't go any further
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 14, 2005
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