// Shop Direct owners, the Barclay family, consider sale of the online retail company
// The family is reportedly reviewing its stable of businesses in the UK, which could lead to a sale
// The news comes soon after Shop Direct revealed a dramatic widening of full-year pre-tax losses
The Barclay family is reportedly mulling the sale of Shop Direct as part of a major review of its business portfolio.
According to The Times, Aidan and Howard Barclay, the sons of Sir David Barclay, are reportedly analysing the family’s business portfolio as part of efforts to streamline it and generate capital to buy out some of the family members.
Along with Very and Littlewoods parent company Shop Direct, other businesses in the family portfolio that could be offloaded as part of the review includes The Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph newspapers, The Ritz hotel in London, and delivery business Yodel.
- Shop Direct losses widens more than seven-fold due to PPI claims
- Shop Direct begins recruiting for East Midlands warehouse
- Shop Direct poaches Boots exec Guy Farmer for group trading director role
Financial advisers are reportedly set to be appointed to value the Barclay family’s businesses and subsequently seek buyers.
While the Barclays have not commented, it is thought that they want to complete the review within the next 18 months.
It is also understood that Aidan and Howard are keen to retain an investment in Shop Direct after the sale.
The news comes just says after Shop Direct revealed that its full-year pre-tax losses had dramatically widened from £24.7 million in 2018 to £185.5 million in the year ending June 30.
This was attributed to £310.2 million in exceptional costs, of which £241 million derived from PPI claims.
However, Shop Direct recorded a 1.8 per cent uptick in group revenue to £1.99 billion, while EBITDA increased 3.3 per cent year-on-year to £271 million.