Fortress close to buying Majestic's 200 stores

Fortress has emerged as the frontrunner to buy Majestic Wine’s 200 stores in a deal worth £100 million.

The UK wine retailer is reported to be in “advanced talks” to sell its retail arm to Fortress, owned by Japan’s tech giant SoftBank.

Fortress is also reported to be in discussions with Dan Jago, the former chief executive of Berry Bros & Rudd and ex-Tesco BWS director, with a view to appointing him as chief executive if the Majestic stores are acquired.

Jago stepped down from his role at Berry Bros in January. He previously ran Tesco’s BWS department and before that he was joint managing director of Bibendum.

Waterstones owner Elliott and private equity firm OpCapita are still believed to be in the running to purchase the stores.

Majestic’s chief executive Rowan Gormley announced in May that the company intended to sell its store estate to focus on its digital Naked Wines business. He also announced plans to change the company name to Naked Wines. 

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