Health chain in huge deal

Coventry Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By ENDA MULLEN Busi­ness Re­porter news@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

FAST grow­ing Nuneaton health and well­ness re­tailer Hol­land & Barrett has been bought in a huge £1.77bil­lion deal.

Re­tail in­vest­ment fund L1 Re­tail, run by Rus­sian bil­lion­aire Mikhail Frid­man, has ac­quired the busi­ness from the Na­ture’s Bounty Co and the Car­lyle Group.

Hol­land & Barrett was founded in 1870 and has grown to be Europe’s largest health and well­ness re­tail chain with 1,150 stores around the world.

L1 Re­tail is the re­tail in­vest­ment arm of Let­terOne and the trans­ac­tion is due to close by Septem­ber this year sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory ap­proval.

Head­quar­tered in Nuneaton, Hol­land & Barrett’s saw an­nual rev­enues last year of more than £610mil­lion.

The com­pany has en­joyed sus­tained growth over an eight-year pe­riod, open­ing new stores and in­vest­ing in its on­line sales plat­form.

It has in­creased its pres­ence sig­nif­i­cantly in Scan­di­navia and de­vel­oped a part­ner­ship with Tesco.

Peter Aldis, CEO, Hol­land & Barrett, said: “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.

“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.”

L1 re­tail man­ag­ing part­ner Stephan DuCharme said: “We look for­ward to work­ing with Peter Aldis 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 & CEO, the Na­ture’s Bounty Co, said: ”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.”

Marco De Benedetti, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and co-head, Car­lyle Europe Part­ners ad­vi­sory team, said: “It has been a priv­i­lege to work with Peter and his tal­ented man­age­ment team over the past seven years.

“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.”

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