// Selfridges owners launch formal auction of the department store business
// Bids expected to start at £4bn
// Advisor Credit Suisse is expected to distribute information memoranda to potential buyers
Selfridges’ owner the Weston family has reportedly begun a formal auction of the department store business, with bids expected to start at £4 billion.
Advisor Credit Suisse is expected to distribute information memoranda to potential buyers and a deal, which may be completed by the end of the year.
The sale process follows an unsolicited approach to buy Selfridges, which emerged last month.
READ MORE: Selfridges launches in-store garden centres
So far, two or three parties have expressed interest in the business, but no formal bids have been made, The Times reported.
Sovereign wealth funds, such as Adia, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, and the Qatar Investment Authority, have been named as interested bidders.
The Westons are likely to consider the extent to which any interested parties value sustainability as Selfridges has put sustainability at the heart of its strategy.
Selfridges’ property assets alone are worth £2 billion.
It is understood the sale process is being run from North America by Robin Rankin, Credit Suisse’s co-head of mergers and acquisitions, who is advising Pavi Binning, now special adviser to the Weston family.
Selfridges’ profits have doubled in the past decade thanks to investments such as an in-store skating bowl and cinema.
In its most recently reported financial year, Selfridges Group’s holding company SHEL Holdings said the pandemic “had a significant short-term impact on the group’s profitability” but it has “committed support from its ultimate parent company”.