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Number of potential buyers circling Majestic’s retail business

By Alys Key, Press Association City Reporter
The company is looking to focus on its online business, Naked Wines.

Majestic Wine has confirmed that a number of potential buyers are circling its retail business, after it kicked off a sale process last month.

Several expressions of interest have been received for the business, which is rumoured to be on the market for £100 million.

The group announced in March that it would rebrand as Naked Wines, the name of its online business, which has grown rapidly since it was acquired by Majestic in 2015.

As part of the move, the chain said it was mulling store closures. It later confirmed that one option would be selling off the whole business.

In a statement on Tuesday, Majestic said it was still reviewing all operations and there was no certainty that any sale would proceed.

However it confirmed that a number of possible bidders are eyeing up the Majestic branded retail business, which includes its commercial operations.

It is understood that potential buyers include OpCapita, the former owner of Comet, as well as a US investor and a turnaround fund.

Shares in Majestic were up 3.3% in morning trading on Tuesday.

Analysts at Liberum said the successful sale of Majestic’s retail arm would be positive for the remaining group, given the success of Naked Wines.

“We have always been fans of the group and always thought it undervalued, and we continue to do so,” they said.

Liberum values the unit at between £110 million and £130 million, but said anything between £75 million and £100 million should be seriously considered.