JLP: staff will know of any stake sale first

John Lewis and Waitrose staff ‘will be the first to hear’ if it progresses in selling a minority stake to raise at least £1bn.

This was the group’s response to a report in The Sunday Times that Sharon White, John Lewis Partnership chairman was considering selling a minority stake to invest in IT, data and Waitrose’s supply chain. 

The group is held in trust and owned by its employees. Any move away from the 100% employee-ownership would require the backing of staff through its Partnership Council: 60 colleagues who represent the wider workforce.

‘This would be to secure the partnership model and ensure co-ownership continues. There could be a shareholder but partners would still own the majority,’ the newspaper reported a source.

The report came days after the group saw major losses, warned of further job cuts and said staff would have no annual bonus, for only the second time since 1953.

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