Entrepreneur Luke Johnson is reportedly investigating a new plan to sell bakery brand Gail’s, one year after the sale was shelved.
Parent company Bread Holdings had put KPMG in place to advise on sale options in 2018 but the process was later delayed.
Johnson has now re-commenced conversations with bankers about a plan to auction all or part of Bread Holdings, according to Sky News.
The company owns Gail’s bakeries, which has more than 50 sites, wholesale business Bread Factory and a number of other subsidiaries.
Gail’s reported a 26.8% increase in annual turnover to £38.8m for the year ended 28 February 2018, alongside a pre-tax profit of £691,280, marking a sharp turnaround from a loss of £608,358 the previous year.
Bread Holdings reported a pre-tax profit of just over £1m for the same period, down from £3.4m the previous year.
Sky News suggested a sale of Gail’s is expected to take place in 2020. The company declined to comment.
Johnson is also set for a £12m payout following an expected sale of Barbados hotel group Elegant Hotels, for which he is a 12.5% shareholder, to Marriott International, which was announced last week.
Renewed plans to sell Gail’s also come after another Johnson investment, Patisserie Valerie, collapsed into administration in January, following an investigation into alleged “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities”.
This led Johnson to pump £2.45m into Patisserie Valerie to fund the wages of retained staff during the administration and to pay administration fees.