Private equity firm Carlyle, owner of high street health food chain Holland & Barrett, has insisted that it is in no hurry to part ways with the retailer in 2016.
A spokesperson told City A.M. that there is no intention of a sale in 2016, though there will be an exit at some point.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Peter Aldis, the retailer’s chief executive, said there is no sale process currently but believed Carlyle was “exploring all options”.
But Carlyle says it wants to focus on expansion of its digital channel and development of online sales before it looks to sell off the retailer.
Part of the plan for the company, owned by Carlyle since 2010, is for development of existing stores, with fewer new store openings.
The stores have performed well this year, capitalising on the increasing demand for health foods and gluten free produce. Over the last year profits jumped 12 per cent to £146m.
Carlyle would reportedly give the chain a £1bn price tag.