• Holland & Barrett could be valued at about £1bn
  • Superdrug owner AS Watson has made indicative offer
  • Private equity houses also interested in Holland & Barrett

Asian health and beauty giant AS Watson, owner of Superdrug, Perfume Shop and Savers in the UK, has made an indicative offer for Holland & Barrett.

Holland & Barrett, which has been put up for sale by owner NBTY, is likely to attract a price-tag of about £1bn, Sky News reported.

Talks are at an early point, and people close to the situation said that AS Watson may not go ahead to table a formal offer.

“They may simply be kicking the tyres, but there is some interest from them,” a retail source told Sky.

Holland & Barrett is also thought to have attracted interest from other trade and private equity buyers.

AS Watson employs‎ 130,000 people globally and is the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe.

Altogether it has more than 13,000 shops in 25 countries.

NBTY’s owner, private equity giant Carlyle, is thought to have wanted to sell the entire business but is now inviting offers for the group’s various divisions.

Holland & Barrett has approximately 1,400 stores in 16 countries.