The Weston family, the owner of Selfridges, has reportedly started a formal auction process to find a buyer for the department store.
According to The Times, the Weston Family has appointed advisors Credit Suisse to handle the distribution of information memoranda to help encourage prospective buyers with aims to complete a deal by the end of the year.
It is thought that the family has placed a £4bn price tag on the business which operates 25 sites worldwide.
The paper also reports that two or three suitors have already expressed an interest but all have yet to make a formal bid.
The news comes a month after it was revealed that the family had been approached by an unknown buyer.
It is believed that sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East are possible interested parties alongside Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford.
The pandemic had a significant impact on the company’s most recent results as for the year to February 2020 Selfridges sales increased 7% to £1.97bn, but operating profits fell 10% to £88m for the same period.
Moreover, annual pre-tax profits fell to £34m from £98m, even before the pandemic had taken place, due to new accounting rules of leases.
Despite this interest is still expected to be strong with Selfridge’s property assets alone valued at around £2bn.