Jessops, Iceland, New Look and Virgin Active gyms all up for grabs 


High St chains Jessops, Iceland, New Look and Virgin Active gyms are all up for grabs

Four High Street chains put out the ‘For Sale’ signs yesterday.

The owners of Jessops, Iceland, New Look and Virgin Active gyms all signalled their wish to sell their stakes.

Peter Jones, one of the stars of TV show Dragons’ Den and the owner of Jessops, is reportedly in talks with potential buyers.

Selling: Peter Jones, one of the stars of TV show Dragons' Den and the owner of Jessops, is reportedly in talks with potential buyers

Selling: Peter Jones, one of the stars of TV show Dragons’ Den and the owner of Jessops, is reportedly in talks with potential buyers

He has also been speaking to landlords to reduce its rent bill and close stores. 

At the same time the owner of New Look and Iceland supermarket said it needed to offload assets. Brait, the South African investment firm part-owned by billionaire retail tycoon Christo Wiese, has announced a major rights issue. 

The company, which is also the majority owner of gym brand Virgin Active, wants to raise equity through asset sales.

Some of its debt deadlines, including an £18.4million bond, are said to be fast-approaching. 

The firm made the announcement as it revealed that its losses narrowed to £70million for the six months to September, from £168million in the same period last year.

Brait said turnover at Iceland, in which it owns a 63 per cent stake, rose 2.4 per cent over the six months to September 13. 

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Revenues at Virgin Active increased 3 per cent to £451million for the nine months to September 30. New Look, in which Brait has a 19 per cent stake, reported losses of £11million.

 



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