Jeweller Signet weighs sale of its British division

THE WORLD’S largest jewellery retailer Signet is considering a sale of its underperforming UK division.

The international firm, which owns H Samuel and Ernest Jones, is said to be looking for a buyer.

Investment bankers from Lazard are in the early stages of approaching potential bidders.

Signet UK could achieve a price of up to £600m.

In the year to 29 January 2011 the jewellery giant’s like-for-like sales in its UK arm dropped 1.4 per cent, while US like-for-like figures were up 8.9 per cent.

In the seven weeks to the end of March, UK like-for-like sales were down a further 4.6 per cent.