(Bloomberg) -- John Lewis Partnership Plc Chairman Sharon White has moved to reassure customers and staff after it was reported the employee-owned retailer was considering selling a minority stake.

More than three days after the Sunday Times reported that the mutual, which also owns grocery chain Waitrose, may look to raise at least £1 billion ($1.2 billion), White said the company had “always been open to new partnerships with investors or like-minded companies” to support its growth. 

“In seeking what’s best for our business and our partners, if we were to consider working with others that had implications for how we’re set up, we’d of course discuss it with our partners first,” she wrote in a statement on the company’s website.

John Lewis has been owned by its employees, known as partners, for more than seven decades. Since taking over in 2020, White has led an overhaul including selling stores, reducing staff and selling assets. 

“The partnership will continue to evolve and change shape, as it has since its creation,” said White. “What will remain a constant is our ownership of the business.” 

Read More: John Lewis Said to Weigh Stake Sale, Diluting Employee Ownership


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