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

August 29, 2016 2:26 AM EDT

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

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Woolworths Ltd 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 (NYSE: LOW), 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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