Baugur sells Booker stake as part of focus on retail

Icelandic investor Baugur has offloaded its 31.4 per cent stake in cash and carry business Booker as it concentrates on retail.

Tycoon Sir Tom Hunter's West Coast Capital has also cut its stake significantly in the wholesaler from 5.8 per cent to 2.2 per cent, but retail entrepreneur Kevin Stanford has retained his 4.4 per cent.

Booker chief executive Charles Wilson said that Baugur's stake sale was "a result of its future focus on retail rather than wholesale investments".

In April, Baugur said it would sell its financial, media and telecoms businesses and use the proceeds to increase its retail interests.

Kaupthing Capital Partners has taken a 22 per cent stake in Booker. Wilson said: "We are pleased that the changes to our investor base, with an increase in the level of institutional shareholders, will help facilitate Booker's move from AIM to the main market." 

The listing change should be achieved by spring next year.

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