Holland & Barrett sold for £1.77bn to L1 Retail

It has been announced that Holland & Barrett has been sold to L1 Retail for £1.77bn.

The Nature’s Bounty Co. and the Carlyle Group announced the acquisition by L1 Retail, the retail investment arm of LetterOne. The transaction is expected to close by September 2017 subject to customary regulatory approvals. Further financial terms were not disclosed.

Commenting on the acquisition L1 Retail Managing Partner, Stephan DuCharme, said: “Holland & Barrett is a clear market leader in the UK health and wellness retail market, with attractive growth positions in other European and international markets, and growing online presence, with a leading customer loyalty programme and 10 million active cardholders. We look forward to working with Peter Aldis, CEO, Holland & Barrett, and his strong management team. We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from structural growth in the growing £10 billion health and wellness market and has multiple levers for long-term growth and value creation.”

Steve Cahillane, President and CEO at The Nature’s Bounty Co., continued: “We are proud of the growth in both sales and market share that Peter Aldis and all associates at Holland & Barrett have achieved in the past seven years. This is due to their high standards of delivery and to the investments supported by Carlyle, notably in new product development, store relocations and refurbishments. We wish Peter and all associates well in the future as they continue to build the business.”

Aldis added: “We are delighted to now be in partnership with the L1 Retail team and its advisory board of internationally-renowned retailers. We have upgraded much of our core store portfolio to concept stores to deliver additional in-store theatre and increased customer engagement. New products launched through our ethical sourcing programme have also been a key growth driver helping to underpin our substantial investment to gain presence across an increasingly global health and wellness market.

“We are particularly proud that our international business last year received the Queen’s Award for International Trade. Carlyle has been a great partner for Holland & Barrett over the last few years, investing in the brand, our people, and next generation technology, which has driven our growth. We look forward to building on this track record as we enter the next chapter with L1 Retail.”

And Marco De Benedetti, Managing Director and Co-Head at Carlyle Europe Partners advisory team, finished: “We have invested heavily in the Holland & Barrett brand, built an innovation pipeline, opened over 300 new stores, built an industry leading omni channel platform, and expanded the business internationally. This has delivered 32 quarters of consecutive like-for-like growth and sustainable financial performance.”

Originally founded in 1870, Holland & Barrett today boasts stores in more than 1,150 locations worldwide, a significant rapidly expanding online ecommerce capability and a global employee base of more than 4,200 associates and staff. In 2016, the company’s annual revenues exceeded £610m, marking 32 consecutive quarters of like-for-like growth in the business, helped by significant investments into new store openings, the company’s online sales platform and click-and-collect retail capabilities and marketing campaigns such as ‘The Good Life’. Continued international growth across Scandinavia and in Holland & Barrett’s partnerships with Tesco plc in the UK, Apollo Hospital Group in India, and AS Watsons in Hong Kong, helped increase the company’s international operations footprint to 16 countries.

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