Derek Coates to sell Healthspan for £150m

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The Independent Online

Derek Coates, the entrepreneur who owns the Guernsey-based airline Blue Islands, is poised to sell his vitamins and minerals business for about £150m. The businessman appointed Deloitte's corporate finance team last year to run a sale of his Healthspan home shopping business, which has grown rapidly since he founded it in 1996.

Between 10 and 12 private equity and trade suitors submitted first-round bids before Christmas, but Deloitte has now whittled this number down to a handful. Second-round bids will be accepted over the coming weeks and Mr Coates, 62, hopes to complete a deal within two months.

Mr Coates's business empire also includes two upmarket hotels on the islands of Guernsey and Alderney. He has put only the Healthspan vitamins and supplements business up for sale. Deloitte declined to comment yesterday and Healthspan did not return calls.

Healthspan sells its own-brand vitamins, minerals and health supplements at "permanently low, tax-free prices", according to its website. It also accepts orders via call centres in Guernsey and Hampshire.

It is believed to have delivered earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of about £15m in its last financial year. Based on an earnings multiple of 10 times, Healthspan could fetch a price of about £150m.