Merger on the cards for beverage specialist
Tea and coffee retailer Whittard of Chelsea has agreed a£21.5 million takeover bid from Baugur.

The Icelandic retail group is to buy the business for 90p a share. Whittard is being bought out by Barney Holdings, in which Baugur is the majority shareholder.

Baugur will combine Whittard with nuts to nougat retailer Julian Graves. 'There are exciting opportunities to develop these two brands as part of the enlarged group,' said Julian Graves managing director Nick Shutts. 'Whittard is a very strong brand, but we believe that its full potential can only be achieved as a private company.'

Whittard chairman Richard Rose said: 'The offer provides Whittard shareholders with an opportunity to realise their investment in the company in cash at a time when market sentiment towards smaller retail companies is increasingly negative and when the retail trading environment shows no indication of short-term recovery.'