// Private equity giant Apollo Global Management is mulling a buyout of Marks & Spencer
// It is unclear whether Apollo’s interest has been dampened by the recent surge in M&S shares
A US private equity giant is mulling a buyout of Marks & Spencer.
The Sunday Times stated that Apollo New York-based Apollo Global Management considers M&S a bargain, believing the retailer’s shares were being weighed down by the impact of Covid.
The firm also thought the market had failed to attribute enough value to M&S’s 50 per cent share of the grocery giant Ocado’s retail business, acquired for £750 million in 2019.
The deal allowed M&S customers to buy its food online for the first time through the Ocado website.
However, it is not yet clear whether a recent surge in M&S shares, which have risen by 24 per cent on upgraded profit forecasts, has dampened Apollo’s appetite, The Sunday Times reported.
A private equity bid would likely attract scrutiny as the retailer begins to shows signs of looking up.
Recent trading at M&S has also been boosted by the post-pandemic recovery in consumer spending and the fall of its long-standing competitors such as Debenhams.
However the environment is likely to get tougher in the new year as rising inflation begins to squeeze household budgets and the disruption to global supply chains continues.