Majestic Wine considering the sale of its UK stores

Wed, 24 Apr 2019 | BUSINESS SALE



Thought to be the UK’s largest specialist retailer of wine, Majestic Wine may announce that it will sell its 200-odd branches across the country in a bid to shift its focus to its booming online business Naked Wines.

While nothing has yet been set in stone, further details of potential sale plans will emerge on June 13, the retailer said yesterday.

Only last month Majestic Wine said they were exploring options to sell some of its assets, review its dividends and close a handful of its stores. However, it did not make a statement regarding the sale of its UK branches.

Investment bank and financial services company Rothschild have been brought in to find buyers but have also been reaching out to private equity firms to examine the potential interest in the purchase of the company’s stores.

A spokesperson for Majestic Wine said: “While a total sale of Majestic Retail continues to be a potential option, it would be whole unwise to pursue a single-track process and materially limit the potential value that can be realised to drive growth.

“We believe the combination of customer migration, disposals and store closures from Majestic Retail will release substantial investment capital and transform the company into an out-and-out growth business.”

The decision to explore the sale of its stores comes as a result of tough trading conditions and challenges faced on the British high streets, paired with rising property taxes and competition from online retailers.

The company has over a million customers globally, with bases in the UK, USA and Australia. It operates as a commercial retailer supplying to businesses, and Lay and Wheeler – a specialist fine wine merchant.

Majestic Wine’s online business, Naked Wines, has reportedly doubled in size since its purchase in 2015.

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