Baugur Halts UK Asset Sale

Icelandic retail investor Baugur has decided to retain its UK assets despite halving its headcount in London.

A report has said that interest from financial investors has been seen in parts of the group’s portfolio.

Notable investments include department store chain House of Fraser and Hamleys, the toy shop.

However, the company has declined to follow up interest since offers would be much lower than the prices it eventually hopes to realise for the businesses in question.

Already parts of the portfolio have failed, such as Whittards of Chelsea, which sold tea and other related items. It also had a small holding in Woolworths.

Baugur has already closed its Reykjavik investment office. It is in negotiations with the Icelandic government about restructuring its £1bn debts, held via the nationalised state banks.

In October, retail guru Sir Philip Green expressed interest in buying part of Baugur’s debt.

The owner of BHS and Top Shop has now been linked in a separate report with buying the Principles chain from the Mosaic group, which is itself backed by Baugur.

Hawkpoint is advising Mosaic on its strategic options.

Source: Thomson Merger News