The billionaire owners of Selfridges are considering selling the iconic department store group, with bids expected to top £4bn.
The Weston Family has lined up advisers at Credit Suisse to advise on a potential sale after receiving an unsolicited takeover approach, React News reported.
It is understood offers in excess of £4bn are likely to be sought for the group, with its property assets making up around half that sum.
Any deal would include Selfridges’ flagship Oxford Street store, as well as its outlets in Manchester and Dublin.
The mooted sale comes at a torrid time for the majority of department store chains, which have suffered from reduced footfall during the pandemic as well as an ongoing shift to online shopping.
But upmarket outlets such as Selfridges have proved more resilient, with overseas buyers helping to prop up the luxury retail market.
In 2019 Liberty was sold to a group of private equity buyers for £300m, while Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund forked out £1.5bn for Harrods in 2010.
Still, Selfridges was last year forced to cut 450 jobs after repeated lockdowns and travel restrictions took their toll on sales.
Selfridges, which was opened in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, is owned by the Canadian branch of the Weston family.
The dynasty has a net worth of £11bn, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List, and also owns Fortnum & Mason and a stake in Primark.
Earlier this year the family’s patriarch W. Gale Weston died. His daughter Alannah chairs Selfridges Group.