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Majestic in ‘advanced’ talks over sale of stores

Published:  13 June, 2019

Majestic Wine said this morning it is in advanced talks over a potential sale of its retail and commercial outlets.

The announcement was made as the retailer posted a 6.3% increase in group sales to £506.1m for the full year to April 2019.

It recorded a pre-tax group loss of £8.5m compared to a £8.3m profit last year, reflecting the significant investment made in its online Naked Wines business, where sales were up 14.5% against a slight 1.5% increase at Majestic Retail. 

Confirming it is in “advanced” talks with “multiple bidders” regarding the sales of its retail and commercial outlets, chief executive and founder Rowan Gormley said: “If we are unable to complete the process over the summer, in time for the important Christmas and New Year season, we will continue to run the two businesses independently of each other and look to restart the process in 2020.”

He stressed the decision to focus on Naked Wines had been made from “a position of strength”.

“Majestic is a great business, with brilliant people and strong customer loyalty…however, Naked has the greater potential for growth, and will deliver the best results for our shareholders, customers, people and suppliers over time.”

Majestic Wine started life with a “disruptive model that challenged the status quo. Now is the right time to do it again under the Naked brand”, he added.

The company also announced chairman Greg Hodder is to leave the company in August, and will be replaced by former Argos boss John Walden.