Liberty store sold to private equity group BlueGem in deal worth £300m

A controlling stake in department store Liberty London has been sold to a private equity-led consortium in a deal valuing the business at £300m.

The retail landmark, which was founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty in 1875 with a £2,000 loan from his future father-in-law, has grown to become an international brand that sells its distinctive fabric prints and luxury leather goods around the world.

The sale marks a sizeable return for the current major shareholder, private equity firm BlueGem, which bought Liberty for £32m in 2010. It refinanced the investment in 2014, reducing its stake in the department store to about 40%.

BlueGem has offloaded its stake to a group led by private equity firm Glendower Capital. A majority of existing Liberty investors, including BlueGem founder Marco Capello, who will remain as non-executive chairman, are holding on to their shares in the business.

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