August 29, 2016 / 6:32 AM / in a year

Australia's Woolworths says hardware JV partner Lowe's takes it to court

A shopper walks out of a Woolworths store in Sydney, Australia, May 12, 2016. Picture taken May 12, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Woolworths Ltd (WOW.AX) said on Monday the U.S. company with which it had a hardware retail joint venture had started legal proceedings, five days after Australia’s No.1 grocery chain said it was exiting the business.

Woolworths’s joint venture partner, Lowe’s Companies Inc (LOW.N), has filed a court application in relation to their hardware chain, the company said in a statement.

The Australian company did not give details of the court application but said it “is yet to be served with documents relating to this application”.

In a statement, Lowe’s said “Woolworths has engaged in oppressive conduct, including by invalidly and in bad faith attempting to terminate” the joint venture.

Woolworths said last week its three-way plan to shut down and sell parts of its home wares business will proceed as planned.

Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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