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Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX:WES) shareholders approve the Coles demerger: Should you invest?

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The Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price will be one to watch on Friday after the release of the results of its annual general meeting last night.

As well as voting on re-elections and the adoption of a remuneration report, shareholders were asked to vote on the demerger of the Coles supermarket business.

Pleasingly, the Coles demerger received overwhelming shareholder approval according to chairman Michael Chaney AO.

He said: “Subject to Court approval of the Scheme, the endorsement of our shareholders means we can proceed to implement this significant repositioning of the Group’s portfolio, one which we believe sets up both Wesfarmers and Coles for future success.”

Coles managing director, Steven Cain, was pleased with the outcome and the start of a new chapter in the history of the supermarket giant.

He said: “The Coles transformation under Wesfarmers ownership has been remarkable – with the store base renewed, a step change in fresh food quality, and a significantly better value position all aimed at improving our offer to Australian consumers. We are now implementing the Fresh Tomorrow strategy which is focused on making life easier for our customers with more convenient locations, products and home shopping.”

What now?

Wesfarmers will now seek orders from the Supreme Court of Western Australia for approval of the scheme of arrangement to effect the demerger.

That hearing is scheduled to take place on Monday. If the scheme is approved by the Court, the company will lodge a copy of the orders with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on Tuesday and the scheme will become effective on that date.

This means that Coles shares could be trading on the ASX as soon as Wednesday of next week.

Should you invest?

While I think both Wesfarmers and Coles are potentially attractive investment options, I feel Wesfarmers’ shares are fully valued at present and intend to wait for a better entry point.

In the meantime, I still think the likes of Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) and Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX: SUL) could be worth a look.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Super Retail Group Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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