A sale is nearing for both Morrisons-owned Kiddicare and the Co-op’s chemist business with deals being hammered out in the next few weeks.
It is understood that two parties remain in the race to buy Kiddicare, private equity firm Better Capital and restructuring specialist Endless, with a decision to be made as early as this week.
It is thought that Morrisons could pay a substantial dowry to Kiddicare’s new owner.
Rothschild is running the sale for Morrisons.
Morrisons bought Kiddicare for £70m in 2011 with plans to use its ecommerce skills and platform to help its own online debut. However, its subsequent technology deal with Ocado meant that Kiddicare’s systems were redundant to Morrisons.
It also acquired 10 stores from failed former Best Buy electrical goods stores for Kiddicare, which contributed to spiralling losses at the maternity business.
Meanwhile several big bidders remain in the frame to buy The Co-op’s chemist business.
Bidders include Lloyds Pharmacy and Carlyle Group, with Alliance Boots and one other unnamed firm, according to The Sunday Times.
A final decision is expected in the next few weeks for the 700 pharmacy business.
The Co-op is trying to recover from huge losses last year of £2.5bn which interim boss Richard Pennycook dubbed a “disastrous year”. It is also selling its farms business.