March 18 (Reuters) – British retailer John Lewis, which has been 100% owned by its staff, is considering diluting its partnership structure, The Sunday Times reported on Saturday.
The report said that the company would consider selling only a minority stake and its priority would be to maintain majority employee ownership.
Chairperson Sharon White is in the early stages of exploring a plan to change the retailer’s mutual structure so it can try to raise between 1 billion and 2 billion pounds ($1.22 billion-$2.44 billion) of new investment, the report said.
Any outside investor would have to share the partnership’s employee-centric values, the report added.
The company, which runs John Lewis department stores and grocer Waitrose, said on Friday it would have to cut staff numbers and scrap bonuses this year, flagging an uncertain outlook as customers struggle with inflation.
John Lewis did not reply to a request from Reuters for comment.
($1 = 0.8214 pounds)
Reporting by Urvi Dugar in Bengaluru
Editing by Peter Graff