The management team at jewellery giant Aurum is expected to remain at the helm to lead its international expansion after the business is sold.
The owner of jewellery chains Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland was put up for sale at the weekend, with a price tag of £200m.
Cavendish Corporate Finance partner Paul Herman, who is managing the sale process, said the management team, including chairman Don McCarthy and chief executive Justin Stead, would “without question” stay at the retailer.
Herman said: “Management wants a solid shareholder that it can continue to grow with.”
The jeweller, 67% owned by collapsed Icelandic bank Landsbanki, is expected to be sold by the summer. McCarthy has a 20% stake in the retailer with its management team holding the remaining share.
The 165-store retailer has received at least a dozen approaches including from overseas bidders that have been attracted by the prospect of expanding the business internationally, which Herman said was a “big opportunity”.
Aurum is also understood to have received interest from UK-based retailers and jewellers. Despite the interest from trade buyers a source close to the sale said it was likely the jeweller would be sold to private equity. It is understood the retailer will not be sold unless it achieves the right price.
The owners have has been mulling a sale for some time as Landsbanki’s exit became closer but decided to push the button as Aurum posted £16.1m EBITDA for the year ending January 30 on the back of 16.6% like-for-like growth.
Aurum chief executive Justin Stead said: “We have enjoyed great support from our existing shareholders, but recognise that their investment horizon was always going to be limited.”