Northern upmarket grocery chain Booths up for sale
The Preston-based chain has 28 outlets across Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire employing over 2800 staff who collectively own about 4 per cent of the business. The Booth family own the rest. Henry Booth founded the business back in 1847 when he opened the China House in Blackpool. Today the company is chaired by his descendant Edwin Booth, who is also the Chief Executive.
According to the Sunday Times, the family has brought in advisers from Rothschild, the investment bank, to consider potential offers. There have have been offers for the grocer in the past, including from Waitrose and Safeway, but now it’s open season the other major supermarket giants are all expected to be readying for a close financial examination.
The sale is thought to have been triggered by recent turbulence in trading, with the company having posted a loss of £6.5 million last year, following a £1.1m profit a year earlier. Nevertheless the brand is very strong with a loyal customer base and the company has demonstrated resilience by riding previous downturns well.
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