Endless close to Kiddicare acquisition

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Private equity firm Endless is ​understood to be ​on the verge of sealing a deal to buy Morrisons’ online baby goods retailer.

Although a formal agreement had not been reached, the ​Leeds​-based specialist investor ha​s​ almost succeeded in trumping a rival bid from Better Capital to buy Kiddicare, Sky ​News ​quoted people close the situation at saying.

Endless and ​Bradford-based ​Morrisons could announce a deal as soon as Friday​.

Neither company could immediately be reached for comment. A spokesman for Better Capital declined to comment.

Morrisons, ​Britain’s fourth-biggest grocer​,​ bought Kiddicare in 2012 for ​£​70​m as it took its first steps toward building a business selling non-food goods over the Internet.

Morrisons said it would sever the arm, along with its stake in US online grocer Fresh Direct, as it looks to raise cash to fund price cuts over three years to win back customers.

The deal could include the sale of all 10 stores under the Kiddicare brand or may involve the closure of some sites before the papers get drawn up​.

Sources told Sky the grocer may have to pay a “substantial dowry” to the successful bidder.