A controlling stake in Liberty has been sold by current owner BlueGem to private equity consortium Glendower Capital.

The department store chain’s current parent company has netted a significant return from its 40% stake in the business, having acquired a controlling share of Liberty for £32m in 2010.

BlueGem founder Marco Capello will stay on as non-executive chairman of the business under its new owners, and he alongside a majority of existing Liberty investors will hold onto their shares in the retailer.

Liberty, which was founded in 1875, recorded an 8% rise in group sales to £133m in the year to February 2018, while pre-tax profits more than tripled to close to £7m, about 60% of which has come from selling own-brand lines.

Capello said: “I am grateful and proud of the team and of their achievements. I am confident we have built a truly differentiated business and assembled a first-class management team that will allow Liberty to reclaim its status as one of the most iconic brands in the world, and the last truly heritage British brand.”

BlueGem is also looking to offload its controlling stake in struggling fashion retailer Jack Wills, and has appointed advisory firm KPMG to oversee a possible sale process.

There are up to six potential buyers for the fashion chain, including Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner Philip Day, Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley and Ben Sherman owner Marquee Brands.