US private equity giant mulls M&S buyout
A US private equity giant is considering a buyout of Marks & Spencer.
The Sunday Times stated that Apollo New York-based Apollo Global Management considers M&S a bargain, believing the retailer’s shares were being weighed down by the impact of Covid.
The firm also said that the market had failed to attribute enough value to M&S’s 50 per cent share of the grocery giant Ocado’s retail business, acquired for £750 million in 2019. The deal allowed M&S customers to buy its food online for the first time through the Ocado website.
It is not yet clear whether a recent surge in M&S shares, which have risen by 24 per cent on upgraded profit forecasts, has dampened Apollo’s appetite.
A private equity bid would likely attract scrutiny as the retailer begins to show signs of looking up.
Recent trading at M&S has also been boosted by the post-pandemic recovery in consumer spending and the fall of its long-standing competitors such as Debenhams.
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