John Lewis eyes end to 100% employee ownership – reports | john lewis
Wholly employee-owned retail group John Lewis is considering diluting its partnership structure, according to reports.
Its chairwoman, Sharon White, is in the early stages of exploring a plan to change the retailer’s mutual structure so it can attempt to raise between £1bn and £2bn in new investment, the report reported. Sunday Times.
The report said the company would consider selling only a minority stake, as its priority would be to maintain majority employee ownership, and any outside investors would need to share the partnership’s employee-centric values.
Any changes would have to be voted on by the Retailer Partnership Council of about 60 employees, according to the report.
John Lewis did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The company, which runs John Lewis department stores and the Waitrose supermarket, said on Friday it is expected to cut staff and cut bonuses this year, signaling an uncertain outlook as customers battle inflation.
White has warned of job losses ahead after the group posted a worse-than-expected full-year loss of £230million. Rising freight, power, labor and fuel bills added £180million in costs and helped push the group towards the second annual loss in its history.
White apologized to staff, known as partners because they co-own the business, for failing to pay an annual bonus for only the second time since 1953 and said the outlook remained uncertain as inflation, although declining, was still there and consumer confidence, although rising, remained subdued.
Reuters contributed to this report