The sale of jewellery group Aurum has been postponed until the new year as the management team focuses its efforts on the crucial Christmas trading period.
Aurum chairman Don McCarthy said: “We’ve pulled the management team off it [the sale]. The focus has to be Christmas from September onwards. Our sales are heavily weighted towards Christmas.”
The sale of the group, which operates as Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland, was expected to be completed by the end of the summer, but McCarthy insisted the process cannot be scheduled.
He said: “It’ll take as long as it takes. There’s a lot of interest in the business and we’re mid-process.”
The jeweller is understood to have received approaches from overseas bidders interested in expanding the brands internationally. However, a front runner has not emerged and it is unclear if any of the bids have hit the group’s expected £200m price tag.
It is understood the group will only be sold if the right price can be negotiated.
Aurum, which is 67% owned by Landsbanki, was put up for sale in April. It forms part of the collapsed Icelandic bank’s bid to sell off its assets in its winding up process. It is also seeking to sell its stake in frozen food retailer Iceland.
Aurum chief executive Justin Stead is expected to stay on at the retailer under new ownership. However, it is understood that McCarthy, who holds a 20% stake in the jeweller, will exit the business.