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Sell-off hint as Baugur's Souk opens

Baugur is to start selling off parts of its retail portfolio over the next two years, in a bid to prove it is not just an acquisitive investor.

The Icelandic group is set to shed either retail companies or stakes it owns in fashion brands, managing director of retail Gunnar Sigurdsson told Drapers.

Baugur unveiled its new retail concept, Souk, in Stockholm last week. Sigurdsson said the model, which houses Baugur's young fashion fascias and franchises, could potentially work in the UK.

He also commented on speculation about a Baugur bid for department store chain Debenhams, saying an offer was not imminent. However, he added: "It could make sense, but that is future music."

Baugur is also on the hunt for a retail manager to report to portfolio director Andras Szirtes. The position is yet to be filled, but the group is scouting out retailers and consultants to head its UK operation following its recent expansion.

- See page 10 for a full interview with Gunnar Sigurdsson, the Souk format, and an in-depth look at Baugur's strategy.

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