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John Lewis explores change to staff ownership model

The John Lewis Partnership is considering diluting its employee ownership structure as it looks to inject new capital into its department store and supermarket chains. According… View Article

DEPARTMENT STORE NEWS

John Lewis explores change to staff ownership model

The John Lewis Partnership is considering diluting its employee ownership structure as it looks to inject new capital into its department store and supermarket chains.

According to The Sunday Times, the owner of John Lewis and Waitrose is looking at the option of a sale of a minority stake in the business, which is currently 100% employee owned, as it looks to raise up to £2 billion to fund transformation. However, the business would continue to prioritise majority employee ownership.

At the end of last year, the partnership announced that it had embarked on a £500 million multi-decade joint venture with global investment company Abrdn, which will create around 1,000 new homes for rent.

A sale of a minority stake in the partnership could necessitate a change to the John Lewis constitution, which would have to be voted on by its partnership council of around 60 staff.

The John Lewis Partnership said in a statement: “We’ve always said we would seek partnerships to help fund our transformation and exciting growth plans. We’ve done this with Ocado in the past and now with Abrdn. Our partners, who own the business, will be the first to hear about any developments.”

Last week, the partnership announced announced that it had made a £234 million pre-tax loss after a “very tough” year.

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