Majestic Wine has said it will sell its retail business to US firm Fortress Investment Group for £95 million, in a move which will split the high street business off from its London-listed parent.

The sale includes the company's stores, website, headquarters, trade division and French arm.

Following the transaction, the London-listed group currently known as Majestic will be renamed Naked Wines after its fast-growing online business.

The announcement wraps up months of speculation over the future of the chain, after chief executive Rowan Gormley said that branches could close under cost-saving plans.

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More than 1,000 jobs and the 200-odd store portfolio will remain in the business as it transfers to new ownership.

Majestic's managing director Joshua Lincoln said: "Majestic has been on the UK high street for almost 40 years, building a bank of affection for our bottles, people and stores.

"In March when it was announced Majestic may be closed, or rebranded, I received thousands of emails from concerned customers - with some credible stories about our wines and people. It made finding a suitable buyer for the business crucial."

A representative for Fortress Investment Group said: "Majestic is a British institution, occupying a unique position as the nation's largest wine retailer.

"It offers a seamless customer experience across multiple channels - physical retail, online, subscription and to the on-trade - and has a customer base which loves its stores, people, brand and, of course, wines.

"We are excited to work with management to grow the Majestic story."

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Majestic said an additional sale of a property to a third party would bring in another £5 million, bringing the total proceeds of flogging the business to £100 million.

Mr Gormley said: "I am delighted that we have managed to secure an independent future for both Naked and Majestic Retail and Commercial, allowing both companies to pursue growth by focusing on their unique propositions.

"I would like to thank all staff, customers and suppliers for their loyalty during this process.

"We look forward to the future and continuing to focus on what we do best ... sharing our spectacular wines from our hundreds of talented winemakers with our customers."

Shares in the company were up 6% in early trading on Friday.

BT posted first quarter results this morning, with reported and adjusted revenue of £5,633 million, down 1% after decreases in consumer, enterprise and global, against the same time last year.

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Philip Jansen, BT Chief Executive, commenting on the trading update, said: "BT delivered results in line with our expectations for the quarter, with adjusted Ebitda declines in consumer and enterprise partly offset by growth in global. We are on track to meet our outlook for the full year.

"We made good progress during the quarter, including launching the UK's first 5G network, delivering an improvement to our group net promoter score for the twelfth consecutive quarter, announcing the first nine cities in our consolidated office footprint, and being named the major broadband universal service obligation provider for the UK.

"In building a better BT for the future we need to be even more competitive. We will continue to take decisive action, including on price, to further strengthen our customer propositions and market position, both to respond to any short-term market pressures and to capitalise on longer-term opportunities. 

"On network investment, we welcome the Government's ambition for full fibre broadband across the country and we are confident we will see further steps to stimulate investment. We are ready to play our part to accelerate the pace of rollout, in a manner that will benefit both the country and our shareholders, and we are engaging with the Government and Ofcom on this."

British Airways owner IAG has reported profit rise for the six months to June 30 despite the backdrop of pilot strke threat.

It highlighteed a second quarter operating profit €960 million before exceptional items (2018: €900 million, 2018 statutory: €816 million) and passenger unit revenue for the quarter up 3.1%, up 1.1% at constant currency.

Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, said: "In Q2 we're reporting an operating profit of €960 million before exceptional items, up from €900 million last year.

"Despite fuel cost headwinds, we delivered a good performance.

"At constant currency, fuel unit costs were up 6.3% while passenger unit revenue increased 1.1%, benefitting from the timing of Easter.

"This highlights, once again, that our unique structure and diverse brand portfolio underpins our financial resilience and ability to deliver robust results."