Holland & Barrett chain sold for £1.7bn to Fridman's L1
Health-food chain Holland & Barrett is to be sold to Russian-owned L1 Retail in a £1.7bn (€1.93bn) deal.
Letter One Retail - better known as L1, was founded by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman and is expected to complete the transaction by September 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.
It will buy the business from Nature's Bounty and The Carlyle Group.
Originally founded in 1870, Holland & Barrett currently has over 1,300 stores in 16 countries, including 52 in Ireland.
Last year expansion costs at the Irish arm of health food retailer, Holland & Barrett last year contributed to pre-tax profits dipping by 7pc to €5.48m.
The retailer increased the number of stores here from 50 to 52 which contributed to revenues rising by 10pc from €30.9m to €33m. According to the directors' report, the directors state that both the level of business and the year-end financial position remain satisfactory.
Holland & Barrett is Europe's leading retailer of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements and operates a total of 620 stores in Ireland and the UK.
The Irish firm's earnings before interest, expenses, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) last year totalled €4.3m compared to €4.8m in 2015.
As part of the firm's expansion here last year, the company opened a new warehousing facility in Dublin to cater for expansion and facilitating deliveries in the North and Republic.
Numbers employed by the business increased from 236 to 277.
Fridman's empire spans investments from Uber to North Sea oil.