L1 Investment buys Holland & Barrett for £1.77 billion

L1 Investment

L1 investment has confirmed that it will purchase Europe’s largest health food chain Holland & Barrett for £1.77 billion.

The retail investment arm of Letter One will take control of the retailer’s 1150 stores worldwide, following a bidding race which saw Superdrug’s AS Watson Group consider a £1 billion offer.

Subject to approval by regulators the deal is set to finish by September 2017 and comes at a time of continued financial and international expansion for the retailer.

Last year Holland & Barrett posted revenues of £610 million as it achieved 32 consecutive quarters of growth. Partnerships with companies such as Tesco UK and Apollo Hospital Group in India have aided its international expansion, now trading across 16 countries.

“Holland & Barrett is a clear market leader in the UK health and wellness retail market, with attractive growth positions in other European and international markets, and growing online presence, with a leading customer loyalty programme and 10 million active cardholders,” L1’s retail managing partner Stephan DuCharme said.

“We look forward to working with Peter Aldis, CEO, Holland & Barrett and his strong management team. We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from structural growth in the growing £10 billion health and wellness market and has multiple levers for long term growth and value creation.”

This will mark Letter One Investment’s first foray into retail. According to the company DuCharme is backed by an advisory board of “internationally-renowned retailers”.

Holland & Barrett chief executive Peter Aldis added: “We are delighted to now be in partnership with the L1 Retail team and its advisory board of internationally-renowned retailers.

“We have upgraded much of our core store portfolio to concept stores to deliver additional in-store theatre and increased customer engagement.

“New products launched through our ethical sourcing programme have also been a key growth driver helping to underpin our substantial investment to gain presence across an increasingly global Health and Wellness market.”

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