Jewellery group Aurum, part-owned by collapsed Icelandic bank Landsbanki, is up for sale.
The jeweller, which operates as Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland, is the latest Landsbanki asset to be put up for sale as part of its winding up process. Buyers are also being sought for toy retailer Hamleys and frozen food chain Iceland, as revealed by Retail Week in January.
Cavendish Corporate Finance has been appointed to manage the Aurum sale.
The 165-store retailer, which posted £16.1m EBITDA for the year ending January 30 on the back of 16.6% like-for-like growth, could go for as much as £200m.
It is understood private equity firms from both the UK and Middle East have shown interest in snapping up the jeweller.
Aurum chairman Don McCarthy said: “Aurum has been one of the few success stories on the British high street over recent years. Since the restructuring of the group in 2009, the business has delivered well beyond our expectations in terms of both revenue and profit growth.
“We have decided to look for a new investor that is able to assist this team in capitalising on the very significant and credible opportunities that are now presenting themselves.”
Landsbanki acquired its 66% stake in Aurum in a debt-for equity swap when Aurum’s former owner, Icelandic group Baugur, placed its UK arm into administration in 2009. McCarthy and the management team also own stakes.
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.
“We are now looking forward to working with a new shareholder that can support us in realising our serious ambitions and outstanding potential for the Aurum business in the years to come.”