Russian billionaire buys Holland & Barrett for healthy €2.0bn

pic: Holland & Barrett

US private equity firm Carlyle sells Europe’s largest health and wellness retailer to investment fund controlled by Mikhail Fridman

Carlyle expect to complete the sale to L1 Retail fund in September, bringing to an end their seven-year ownership of Holland & Barrett.

The private equity firm acquired the health food retailer as part of its €3.4bn (£3bn) purchase of Nature’s Bounty – the US group now known as NBTY. Carlyle is looking to sell the remainder of NBTY, which includes MET-Rx, Pure Protein and Sundown Naturals among its brands.

"We are delighted to now be in partnership with the L1 Retail team and its advisory board of internationally-renowned retailers," commented Holland & Barrett CEO Pete Aldis, who will stay on after the transfer of ownership.

The advisory board includes Karl-Heinz Holland, former chief executive at Lidl Group, John Walden who was chief executive of Home Retail Group and dunnhumby founder Clive Humby.    

Billionaire Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman, who set up the investment fund in late 2016, aims to invest in retail businesses that it believes can be market leaders.

Holland & Barrett is L1 Retail’s first acquisition. The fund strongly believes in the further growth potential of the chain, which has enjoyed 32 consecutive quarters of sales increases and a 2016 annual revenue of €690m (£610m).

“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,” said L1 Retail managing partner Stephan DuCharme.

"We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from structural growth in the growing €13bn (£10bn) health and wellness market and has multiple levers for long-term growth and value creation," he added.

Nevertheless, some remain cautious about the purchase. Independent retail analyst Richard Hyman believes that L1 Retail are paying an “extraordinarily generous price.”

He also emphasises the need to create a retail experience that will justify in-store footfall to compete against online giants such as Amazon. 

Related News

More, please: Holland & Barrett sexes up London with ‘high concept’ store

More, please: Holland & Barrett sexes up London with ‘high concept’ store

H&B CEO: 'This pilot is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the value of a partnership between two trusted and complementary brands...'

Here we Tesco again: Holland & Barrett to supplement retail superstores

The deal comes as part of Holland & Barrett’s plans for major international expansion to make its global franchises bigger than its UK and Ireland core.

1000 Holland & Barrett franchise stores to open in India

Holland & Barrett now serves 60 countries worldwide through its new websites. © iStock.com / DeanDrobot

Why Holland & Barrett has seen 27.5% online sales growth in a year

Ironically, it's easier for an EU company to set up shop in a non-EU country than in another member state, says Holland & Barrett

Holland & Barrett: ‘In 5-10 years our global franchises could be bigger than UK core’

Sales increased from £513.6m (€707.43m) in 2014 to £573.8m (€790.35m) in 2015.  Photo credit: iStock.com

Holland & Barrett profits up: We’ll be a £1bn business by 2020

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.