Woolworths should turn private equity

Woolworths’ food and liquor business is the best business I have ever seen. It produces returns on funds employed of 75% and for the moment at least its market position seems unassailable. That’s not to say things can change, but it’s going to take a lot of money and innovation to dethrone the business.Woolworths’ other businesses are not so attractive. The Masters home improvement franchise is only in its infancy, but the New Zealand supermarket business produces return on funds employed of less than 10%. Woolworths doesn’t have the scale in New Zealand that it enjoys in Australia in order...

Woolworths’ food and liquor business is the best business I have ever seen. It produces returns on funds employed of 75% and for the moment at least its market position seems unassailable. That’s not to say things can change, but it’s going to take a lot of money and innovation to dethrone the business.

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