A small number of potential bidders for the company’s 200 stores, including private equity firm OpCapita, a US-based investor and another turnaround firm, are in the running to acquire Majestic’s retail network, Sky News reports.
Majestic Wine announced in April that it was considering selling off its entire UK store network as one of a number of possible plans designed to transform the business, focusing instead on online sales and developing its Naked Wines arm.
Majestic said today (21 May) that it was continuing ‘to explore methods of releasing capital from its Majestic Retail and Commercial business to accelerate the growth of Naked Wines, with this release of capital to be explored through a range of potential options’.
It added: ‘Following recent press speculation, the Group confirms that the sale of the Majestic branded retail business, including its related B2B operations … is one of the possible options being considered, and the Group has received a number of expressions of interest.’
More details are expected to be released soon, and certainly by 13 June, when Majestic is due to announce its full-year results and reveal full details of its transformation strategy.
In March, the company announced that it would be renamed Naked Wines plc, adding that it would try to minimise any job losses from the transformation of the business by transferring staff to Naked Wines.
Majestic’s share price, which has almost halved in value over the past year, rallied this morning after the company confirmed interest in its retail business.
Majestic bought Naked Wines for £70m in 2015 in what amounted to a reverse takeover deal, with Naked Wines founder Rowan Gormley installed as CEO of the new group.