Belfast Telegraph

Barclay brothers scrap proposed Shop Direct sale

The billionaire Barclay brothers have scrapped a proposed sale of Shop Direct, citing uncertainty created by the General Election.

David and Frederick, who also own the Telegraph newspaper titles, had been reviewing their options, one of which was a sale of the business for a reported £3 billion.

However, on Thursday, Shop Direct said: "At the start of the year the shareholders of Shop Direct decided to review a number of options for the business including a possible partial or full sale.

"In recent weeks it has become clear that the appetite of potential bidders has begun to change due to uncertainty created in the post-election UK environment so the shareholders have decided not to pursue discussions further at this stage."

A number of heavyweight private equity firms had mulled taking over the firm, which is behind and

However, a collapse in consumer confidence and a slowing economy are thought to have scuppered the possibility of a deal being struck.

Last year, the group reported a 20% rise in pre-tax profits to £105.6 million.

"Shop Direct continues to outperform the market delivering double digit profit growth for the year ended June 30 2017 and this strong trajectory is expected to continue," the firm added.