US private equity firm Apollo has reportedly been considering a buyout of Marks and Spencer, after initially considering it to be undervalued.
The reports also suggested that it is unclear whether Apollo’s interest has been dampened following M&S recent stock market rise which has seen its rise 24% to see the retailer just shy of re-entering the FTSE 100 and valued at £4.7bn.
The news comes after M&S returned to profitability for the first half of the year ending 2 October 2021.
Last month, the group revealed it saw pre-tax profits rise to £187.3m compared with losses of £87.6m the previous year.
Statutory revenues also increased to £5.1bn from £4.09bn in 2020 and were boosted by the bounce back in spending and the benefits of the reshaping of M&S Food which saw a 10.4% increase in sales.
Meanwhile, the clothing and home business delivered 17.3% growth in full price sales which helped drive a healthy improvement in operating profit before adjusting items.
The group stated it expects profit before tax and adjusting items for the year to be ahead of expectations and to reach £500m.