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March 15, 2010
Investors Approach Liberty Department Store
In a statement, Liberty spokesman said that the company has been assessing a number of options which potentially will enable them to build upon the success since their launch in 2009, but it is too early for the board to determine whether or not these discussions will result in any formal offer being made for the company.
Marylebone Warwick Balfour, which is the majority shareholder, put the store up for sale in July last year.
A number of speculations claim that Marco Capello, the former managing director of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, is close to Liberty through his investment fund BlueGem Capital Partners. Other potential buyers include investor Robert Bensoussan and global supplier Li & Fung.
It has also been reported that Liberty may proceed with the possible sale and leaseback of its Tudor building flagship store on Great Marlborough Street, London W1. Last week, Knight Frank was instructed to sell the freehold to the Liberty department store for £40m – a 5% yield.
Estates Gazette reported that local landlords, such as Shaftesbury, which owns the nearby Carnaby Street, and Great Portland Estates, which in April 2005 bought the leasehold interest of Liberty’s former store at 208-222 Regent Street for £66.5m, may be interested in the 120,000 sq ft building.