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Majestic Wine considers sale of retail business

By Sean Farrell

Date: Tuesday 21 May 2019

Majestic Wine considers sale of retail business

(Sharecast News) - Majestic Wine said on Tuesday that it is considering the sale of its retail business as the wine merchant rebrands as Naked Wines.
Responding to press reports, Majestic said it had received several expressions of interest in its retail and commercial operation. A sale of the business is one of the options being pursued, it added.

Majestic said: "The group continues to review all options and there remains no certainty that the sale of Majestic retail will proceed nor as to the terms upon which any disposal would take place."

A sale would mark a break from the past for Majestic, which started selling wine by the case from a warehouse in North London in 1980 and grew to become Britain's biggest independent wine retailer. The company has more than 200 stores, including two in France.

After a run of disappointing results, Majestic bought Naked Wines in 2015 and installed its boss, Rowan Gormley, as its chief executive. Gormley set about improving stores and computer systems but in March he surprised analysts by announcing plans to rebrand the company as Naked Wines, close stores and sell assets.

In April Sky News reported that Majestic had appointed investment bankers to look for potential buyers for the retail and commercial business and that private equity firms were being sounded out.

Majestic shares rose 3.1% to 274.2p at 1015 BST.



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