Shop Direct eyes £3bn sale as takeover talks begin

Shop Direct owners, the Barclay brothers, are understood to be seeking a £3bn price tag for the etail group and have lined up talks with potential suitors.

The fast growing online department store, which owns brands such as Very and Littlewoods, has garnered interest from a clutch of private equity firms, Sky News reported.

In the coming weeks Shop Direct management will enter into talks with the interested parties, which include Advent International, Bain Capital, BC Partners‎, Cinven, CVC Capital Partners and Permira.

It is understood the talks could lead to the sale of part or all of Shop Direct although there is no certainty yet that a formal offer for the company will be made.

Investment bank UBS is leading the sale process and overseeing discussions between the retailer and a number of private equity firms.

According to Sky News sources, the Barclay brothers – who also own The Telegraph – are keen to secure bids of £3b-plus for the retail group to reflect its value and account for its £1b of debt.

Shop Direct, run by Alex Baldock, posted a 9% rise in sales in over the crucial Christmas trading period.

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