Russian Billionaire Buys Holland & Barrett for ₤ 1.8 bn

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Holland & Barrett, the UK’s greatest natural food seller, is being purchased by a Russian billionaire for ₤ 1.8 bn.

L1 Retail, a fund managed by Mikhail Fridman, is purchasing the chain from United States personal equity company Carlyle.

Carlyle got Nuneaton-based Holland & Barrett as part of its $3.8 bn (₤ 3bn) purchase in 2010 of United States firm Nature’s Bounty, now NBTY.

The chain, which has more than 1,300 shops around the world, is anticipated to change hands in September.

Holland & Barrett was established by William Holland and Alfred Barrett in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, in 1870.

They at first offered groceries and clothes, but later on divided the 2 into different companies. The grocery business was offered to Alfred Button & Sons in the 1920s, but the initial name was kept.
The company ultimately began concentrating on natural food and altered hands a number of times. It now uses more than 4,000 people.

Is Holland & Barrett a future star?

“Holland & Barrett is a clear market leader in the UK health and health retail market, with appealing development positions in other European and worldwide markets,” stated L1 Retail handling partner Stephan DuCharme.

“We think that the company is well placed to take advantage of structural development in the growing ₤ 10bn health and health market and has several levers for long-lasting development and value production.”

The purchase is the very first by L1 Retail, which was established in late 2016.

It intends to invest $3bn in a little number of retail services that it thinks can be market leaders by “moving with and leading long-lasting patterns”.

The fund’s board of advisers consists of John Walden, the previous president of Home Retail Group.
Other members are Karl-Heinz Holland, who was president of Lidl Group, the German grocery store chain, and Clive Humby, among the creators of dunnhumby, which created the idea for Tesco’s Clubcard.

L1 likewise has funds concentrated on energy, innovation and health.

Peter Aldis, Holland & Barrett president, is to remain on. He stated: “We are pleased to now remain in collaboration with the L1 Retail group and its board of advisers of internationally-renowned sellers.”
Mr Fridman is best understood for his function as president of BP’s Russian joint endeavor TNK in between 2003 and 2012, when it was offered to Rosneft for $56bn.

He used the profits from the sale of his stake to establish L1, which likewise has financial investments in the telecoms, innovation and energy sectors.

His oil and gas interests extend from Algeria and Libya to Poland and Norway.

Mervyn Davies, the previous Standard Chartered president who is now Lord Davies of Abersoch, is chairman of L1 Holdings.

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