Swiss Retailer Migros Taps Banks for $1 Billion Asset Sale

(Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s grocery retailer Migros-Genossenschaft-Bund has selected investment banks for the potential sale of its cosmetics operations and travel platform, which could fetch a total valuation of about $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Alantra Partners is working with Migros to sound out potential suitors for Mibelle Group, which makes cosmetic products for the retailer as well as white label products for other European personal care companies, the people said. The business, which also owns South Korean skincare brand Dr. G, could be valued at more than 500 million Swiss francs ($557 million), the people said.

The asset has attracted initial interest from private equity firms and other players in the industry, while a sale process could start after summer, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. 

Meanwhile, Migros has picked Houlihan Lokey Inc. to help arrange the potential sale of Hotelplan Group, which could be valued at about 400 million francs in a deal, according to the people.

Hotelplan owns Switzerland’s largest tour operator, Hotelplan Suisse, and other brands marketing planned vacations, holiday home rentals and business travel services. The unit, launched in 1935 by Migros founder Gottlieb Duttweiler, posted 1.7 billion francs in sales last year, according to its website.

Deliberations are ongoing and Migros could still decide to keep the assets for longer, the people said. The sale processes of Mibelle Group and Hotelplan are progressing according to plan, a representative for Migros said in response to a Bloomberg News query, declining to comment on the details. Representatives for Alantra and Houlihan declined to comment.

The potential divestments of Mibelle Group and Hotelplan are part of a broader restructuring of Migros, which is seeking to focus on its core supermarket business to fend off its online retail competitors.

The company last month agreed to sell 20 of the 37 specialist electronics stores to Mediamarkt and to close the remaining 17. German shoe retailer Deichmann Group is taking over some of Migros’s SportX stores. Migros has also initiated the process to seek buyers for specialist stores Micasa, Do it + Garden and Bike World.

--With assistance from Levin Stamm.

(Updates Migros’s comment in sixth paragraph.)

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