The “For Sale” sign is up at trend-setting Selfridges.
The company’s billionaire owners, the Weston family, have launched a formal auction to sell the historic department store business, reported the Evening Standardand other U.K. news sites. Credit Suisse advisors have sent out an information memorandum to potential investors, with the company valued at as much as 4 billion pounds.
Selfridges has 25 stores worldwide, including its luxurious, 600,00-sq.-ft. Oxford Street flagship in London and the Brown Thomas and Arnotts brands in Ireland. The company was founded in 1908 by Harry Gordon Selfridge and was purchased in 2003 by the Weston family in a 598 million pound deal.
Although no formal bid has been made yet, a small number of parties have already expressed potential interest, according to the report, with sovereign wealth funds of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Qatar all named possible bidders alongside Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford. The Qataris already own Selfridges’ arch rival Harrod’s.