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LetterOne proposes $1 billion debt deal for Holland & Barrett- Sky News

·1-min read
People wearing protective face masks are seen outside a Holland & Barrett store in Durham, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Durham, Britain

(Reuters) -London-based investment group LetterOne has offered to buy back

health food retailer Holland & Barrett's outstanding borrowings worth about 890 million pounds ($1.01 billion) at a discount, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

The move is intended to prevent lenders from taking control of Holland & Barrett if it defaulted on its repayment obligations, the report said.

LetterOne's proposal was being pitched at between 75% and 80% of the loans' face value, Sky News reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Both Holland & Barrett and LetterOne did not immediately respond to Reuters' request to comment.

The Russian-linked investment vehicle, co-founded by oligarch Mikhail Fridman, acquired Holland & Barrett in 2017. The chain has about 800 stores in the UK. (https://bit.ly/3DGjSCO)

Along with Fridman, another Russian investor behind LetterOne, Petr Aven, had stepped down from the investment company's board after the European Union imposed sanctions on them.

($1 = 0.8779 pounds)

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D'Silva)