July 9 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Endless LLP is on the verge of sealing a deal to buy Wm Morrison Supermarkets’ online baby goods retailer, Sky News reported on Wednesday, citing sources.
Although a formal agreement had not been reached, the UK-based specialist investor had almost succeeded in trumping a rival bid from Better Capital LLP to buy Morrisons’ Kiddicare, Sky quoted people close the situation at saying.
Endless and Morrisons could announce a deal as soon as Friday, sources told Sky.(bit.ly/1sybRCg)
Neither company could immediately be reached for comment outside regular business hours in the UK. A spokesman for Better Capital declined to comment.
Britain’s fourth-biggest grocer bought Kiddicare in 2012 for 70 million pounds ($119 million) as it took its first steps toward building a business selling non-food goods over the Internet.
Morrisons said it would sever the arm, along with its stake in U.S. online grocer Fresh Direct, as it looks to raise cash to fund price cuts over three years to win back customers.
The deal could include the sale of all 10 stores under the Kiddicare brand or may involve the closure of some sites before the papers get drawn up, Sky quoted “insiders” as saying.
Sources told Sky the grocer may have to pay a “substantial dowry” to the successful bidder. ($1 = 0.5877 British Pounds) (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bangalore; editing by Gunna Dickson)