Tesco is reportedly on the verge of selling its offshoots Euphorium Bakery and the coffee shop chain Harris + Hoole.
It bought the remaining stake in the bakery business last April, saying: “Euphorium is a great brand and where we have extended it into stores, it has proved really popular with customers. Our priorities remain the colleagues working for Euphorium and providing a great service to customers”
However, British Baker understood at the time it only purchased the remaining stake in the bakery in a bid to honour a “gentleman’s agreement”. The challenged supermarket retailer also bought the remaining 51% stake in Harris + Hoole in February of this year for an undisclosed sum.
Now, however, Sky News has reported Tesco is drawing up a list of loss-making businesses that it wants to sell including its garden centre chain Dobbies and is quoting unnamed sources.
Tesco has not denied the report, but instead told British Baker: “We wouldn’t comment on rumour and speculation.”
Harris + Hoole and Euphorium were originally bought by Philip Clarke, current chief executive Dave Lewis’ immediate predecessor, in a bid to diversify the retailer’s appeal to customers and find ways of utilising excess space.
Euphorium was founded by Daniel Bear in Islington in 1999. The supermarket giant first twinned with the bakery chain in October 2012 when it opened a concession in its Kensington store. The following year it bought a larger stake in the company and began a rollout of the brand in its stores.
City analysts expect Tesco to report roughly £450m in profit for last year, compared to its record £6.4bn loss in 2014, when it reveals its preliminary results on Wednesday.
It may also announce its first quarterly rise in like-for-like sales for more than three years.