The home shopping tycoon who was among the most prominent business backers of Britain’s departure from the EU has put his company up for sale just months before the end of the Brexit transition period.
Sky News understands that John Mills has instructed Cavendish Corporate Finance to contact prospective buyers of JML, a multichannel retailer of consumer products.
The process is at an early stage and is not expected to result in a deal for several months, according to people close to the process.
Mr Mills set up JML in 1986 in the basement of his north London home, since when it has grown into a business recording more than £100m in annual sales.
He continues to hold a roughly 70% stake in it.
As the founder of Labour Leave, the tycoon was a vocal supporter of Brexit.
Logical bidders for JML are likely to include rivals such as Ideal Shopping Direct, which is backed by the special situations investor Aurelius Equity Opportunities.
In a statement, a JML spokesman said the company had “recently engaged with potential investors”.
“Management would like to highlight that the business is in excellent financial health and has traded well during the first half of 2020 despite COVID-19.”
The spokesman said JML’s direct-to-consumer operation had seen “very significant growth during the pandemic”.
“Senior management’s intention is to remain in place for the long-term and the company has ambitious plans for profitable growth in the second half of 2020 and beyond.”