Shop Direct’s sale plan axed as interest wanes

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Shop Direct's sale

Plans for a sale of Shop Direct have been scrapped following lack of interest from investors amid the “post-election UK environment.”

The group, which is behind both Very and Littlewoods retail brands, managed to secure interest from numerous investors.

Last month Hellman & Friedman tabled a £2.5 billion offer, and major investment firms like Apax Partners and BC Partners expressed interest.

However, the Barclay brothers who own the retailer were seeking a £3 billion price tag, but saw interest wain as concerns grew over its credit model.

Shop Direct is reportedly increasingly reliant on consumer credit, which will come under stifling regulation soon, as well as struggle as consumer confidence drops.

READ MORE:  Shop Direct secures £2.5bn offer

“At the start of the year the shareholders of  Shop Direct  decided to review a number of options for the business including a possible partial or full sale,” a spokesperson said.

“At no point did the shareholders commit to a transaction, and retaining the business was always an explicit option given its significant growth potential.

“In recent weeks it has become clear that the appetite of potential bidders has begun to change due to uncertainty created in the post-election UK environment so the shareholders have decided not to pursue discussions further at this stage.

“Shop Direct continues to outperform the market delivering double digit profit growth for the year ended 30 June 2017 and this strong trajectory is expected to continue.”

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