Iconic Clerys may be sold off once again
landmark Dublin store Clerys may be put on the market once more.
Reports suggest that the retailer's listed building on O'Connell Street may be purchased by new owners who may be more interested in the property as a commercial site rather than as a single retail premises.
Clerys was purchased by its current owner, Gordon Brothers, in 2012 when it bought out more than €13m worth of debts of the former owners.
Gordon Brothers has now appointed IBI Corporate Finance to advise on the selling process.
Talks are already underway with one possible buyer while contact has been made with a number of potential bidders, according to the Sunday Business Post.
It is believed that Gordon Brothers have approached retail recovery expert Hilco about a possible buyout. However, the company has not made a bid for the business to date.
An international fund is also understood to be backing a potential Irish investor.
Clerys is seen as an integral part of Dublin's business heritage and it retains considerable goodwill in the hearts of shoppers in the city and around Ireland.
The centenary of the complete destruction of its department store during the 1916 Rising will be marked next year.
The business dates from 1853 and the current building dates from 1922 after it rose from the ruins of the destroyed store.
Clerys completed a five-year restoration programme in 2004 at a cost of €24 million and the building is on the city council's list of protected structures.
Gordon Brothers said IBI was hired to advise on an investment review and that the sale of the business was one of the options being considered.
"It is the policy of Gordon Brothers Europe to regularly conduct strategic reviews of its medium-term investments.
"The review may, or may not, result in a change of ownership," a spokesperson said.
Clerys employs 140 staff at its O'Connell Street building.
Workers will be taking a close interest in any sell off manoeuvres that are undertaken by the owners and IBI continues to examine a sell-off strategy.