Liberty, the top London department store, could soon have a new owner after kicking off a strategic review of the business, with a view to expansion

The Regent Street retailer is on the verge of hiring two mergers and acquisitions firms to work on finding a new investor willing to bankroll its growth plans.

The board is this week expected to appoint Cavendish Corporate Finance and Global Leisure Partners, and may confirm the review in an announcement to the stock exchange. However, the search for new backers is not expected to get fully under way until after the summer.

Liberty, famous for its distinctive Tudor-style building, is 68% owned by MWB Group Holdings, the quoted property company. Richard Balfour-Lynn, MWB’s chief executive, also serves as chairman of the store.

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The company, valued at £58.8m at Friday’s closing share price, will try to bring in a new investor, possibly from overseas, to take over all, or part, of MWB’s stake. A source close to the retailer denied that the motive for the review was to reduce MWB’s £358m debt pile.

Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph