John Lewis Partnership Plc may dilute its famous employee-owned structure to raise new investment as UK retail conditions worsen, the Times reported, without saying where it got the information.
The company, which owns the high-end grocery chain Waitrose as well as its eponymous department stores, may explore a change in the company’s mutual structure so it can raise at least £1 billion ($1.2 billion) of new investment, according to the Times.
A minority stake may require a change to the firm’s constitution. John Lewis has been employee-owned for more than seven decades.
On Thursday, John Lewis reported a £234 million loss, cancelled its employee bonus for the second time in three years, and warned of new job cuts for its 80,000 partners who co-own the business.
The company is losing ground to profitable competitor Marks & Spencer Group Plc, which recently reported its best-ever market share in food retailing.
John Lewis’ new plan is being overseen by chairwoman Sharon White, who was encouraged toward the idea of selling a minority stake in the core business by finance chief Bérangère Michel, according to the Times.
By Todd Gillespie
John Lewis Cancels Employee Bonus as Losses Mount
John Lewis Partnership plc cancelled staff bonuses for the second time in three years and warned of fresh job cuts after reporting a large loss amid intense competition in the British retail market.