Kingfisher, the retail group that owns DIY chain B&Q, has sold its 50% stake in B&Q Taiwan to its joint venture partner Test Rite International for $106.5m (£51.6m).

The sale will mark Kingfisher's departure from Taiwan which was its first entry into the Asian retail market in 1996. Since it moved into Taiwan it has opened 21 stores and this year made a pre-tax profit of £5m and had net assets of £20m from its 50% stake in the business.

Complete by 31st

Subject to the approval of the Taiwanese Investment Commission the sale will complete by 31 December. Kingfisher said the profits from the sale, expected to be around £25m, will be used to reduce debt.

Limited opportunities

Peter Jackson, Kingfisher's chairman, said: 'Our Taiwanese joint venture has been a success, providing good investment returns for shareholders while also acting as a useful springboard for entering the large and fast-growing mainland Chinese market. However, after 11 years of expansion B&Q Taiwan now offers only limited opportunities for future market share growth for Kingfisher. This sale is consistent with our focus on capital allocation and investment returns.'