Private equity to snap up Aurum by summer


New ownership not expected to impact management or operations.

Jewellery and watch retail group Aurum could be in the hands of a private equity company by this summer, according to Cavendish Corporate Finance, the company brokering the deal.

Speaking to Professional Jeweller, Cavendish partner Paul Herman said that he expects the retail group, which announced that it was up for sale at the weekend, to be bought be bought by private equity for a sum in the region of £200 million, adding that this is the “perfect” moment for the multiple jeweller to sell.

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He said: “We’re hoping to conclude this side of the summer. This is the perfect time [for Aurum] to sell. It’s done incredibly well – it’s the new success story.”

Herman said he expects that there will be no management or major operational changes to Aurum as a result of the sale.

He added: “The one thing we are confident of is that there will be no impact on the day-to-day running of the business. We expect that it will be bought by an investor that will support the management and allow the business to continue to grow.”

Aurum achieved an impressive turnaround after a restructuring in 2009 bolstered the business. The retail business, which has a total of 165 stores trading as Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths and Watches of Switzerland, posted total sales of £326 million in the year to Jaunuary 30, up 16.6 percent on like-for-like sales from the year before, with core earnings of £16.1 million.

The jewellery and watch retail business is controlled by the committee winding up Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which was a key lender to Aurum’s former owner Baugur.

Tags : AurumGoldsmithsJewelleryjewelryMappin & WebbRetailwatchesWatches of Switzerland
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