Holland & Barrett, the UK’s biggest health food retailer, is being bought by a Russian billionaire for £1.8bn.
L1 Retail, a fund controlled by Mikhail Fridman, is buying the chain from US private equity firm Carlyle.
Carlyle acquired Nuneaton-based Holland & Barrett as part of its $3.8bn (£3bn) purchase in 2010 of US firm Nature’s Bounty, now NBTY.
The chain, which has more than 1,300 stores worldwide, is expected to change hands in September.
Holland & Barrett was founded by William Holland and Alfred Barrett in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, in 1870.
They initially sold groceries and clothing, but later split the two into separate businesses. The grocery business was sold to Alfred Button & Sons in the 1920s, but the original name was retained.
The company eventually started focusing on health foods and changed hands several times. It now employs more than 4,000 people.
“Holland & Barrett is a clear market leader in the UK health and wellness retail market, with attractive growth positions in other European and international markets,” said L1 Retail managing partner Stephan DuCharme.
“We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from structural growth in the growing £10bn health and wellness market and has multiple levers for long-term growth and value creation.”