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Selfridges could fetch £4bn as ‘for sale’ sign goes up

Written by on 26/07/2021

Selfridges has been put up for sale in a move that could net its Canadian billionaire owners as much as £4bn.

The department store chain reportedly attracted bid interest last month, prompting the Weston family to order a formal auction process.

It is understood that advisers at Credit Suisse are leading the sale and hope to complete a deal by the end of the year following talks with interested parties – said to be a small number at this stage.

Selfridges, which has 25 stores worldwide including its flagship store on London’s Oxford St, also incorporates the Brown Thomas and Arnotts brands in Ireland.

Image: Selfridges dates back to 1908

The potential £4bn price tag is said to reflect the value of its property portfolio rather than the strength of current profitability.

The 113-year old company had bucked the pre-COVID-19 pandemic trend of trade trouble for department stores following a major investment in its offering but, like rivals, was forced to bring down the shutters during lockdowns.

The crisis resulted in the collapse of Debenhams – now facing an online-only future within the Boohoo empire – while even John Lewis has not been immune to the fallout with a new round of job losses revealed earlier this month.

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Selfridges cut 14% of its workforce – 450 jobs – a year ago as it navigated the disruption and a lack of tourists since reopening has hampered the turnaround in its fortunes.

The Weston family – also a majority shareholder in Primark’s parent firm Associated British Foods – has owned Selfridges since 2003.

 Sky News

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