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L1 Retail to buy health retailer Holland & Barrett for £1.77bn

RBR Staff Writer Published 27 June 2017

L1 Retail has agreed to purchase UK-based health and wellness retail chain Holland & Barrett from The Nature’s Bounty and The Carlyle Group for £1.77bn.

Established last year, L1 Retail is the retail investment arm of the Luxembourg-based LetterOne which in turn is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.

Founded in 1870, Holland & Barrett has more than 1,150 stores in about 16 countries.

Holland & Barrett is among the leading health and wellness retailers in the world and also considered to be the largest in Europe in the sector.

It provides its customers with a broad range of vitamins, minerals, specialist foods, natural beauty products and health supplements.

Holland & Barrett is said to have been quickly expanding its online ecommerce capability and has a workforce of over 4,200 associates and staff. The retailer had generated revenue of more than £610m last year.

L1 Retail managing partner Stephan DuCharme said: “Holland & Barrett is a clear market leader in the UK health and wellness retail market, with attractive growth positions in other European and international markets, and growing online presence, with a leading customer loyalty programme and 10 million active cardholders.

DuCharme concluded that Holland & Barrett is well placed to leverage from structural growth in the £10bn health and wellness sector and has various levers for long-term growth and value creation.

The retail company has grown internationally throughout Scandinavia and through partnerships with Tesco in the UK, Apollo group of hospitals in India and Hong Kong’s AS Watsons.

Holland & Barrett has seen heavy investments from Carlyle which has helped it open more than 300 new health and wellness stores.

Holland & Barrett CEO Peter Aldis said: “We have upgraded much of our core store portfolio to concept stores to deliver additional in-store theatre and increased customer engagement.

“New products launched through our ethical sourcing programme have also been a key growth driver helping to underpin our substantial investment to gain presence across an increasingly global Health and Wellness market.”

Its acquisition by L1 Retail is likely to be completed by September based on receipt of customary regulatory approvals.

Image: A Holland & Barrett store in London. Photo: courtesy of Edward Hands/Wikipedia.org.