Ex-Comet owner joins race to buy Matalan as deadline looms
Bidders are circling Matalan in preparation for making offers for the UK-based fashion and lifestyle retailer before a Friday bid deadline.
Among them is OpCapita, which is led by Henry Jackson, former owner of the now-defunct Comet electricals chain, with the financier expected to table an indicative proposal, Sky News reported. OpCapita has yet to comment.
Potential bidders include investment firms Alteri, which is backed by Apollo Global Management, and John Hargreaves, Matalan's founder, who is expected to be backed by activist investor Elliott Advisors. Frasers Group is also reported to be preparing an offer for Matalan.
Matalan, which was led by Hargreaves for many years, faces a -- now-extended -- deadline next year to refinance £350 million in debt. It also took a £60 million loan from Bantry Bay, in which Elliott Advisors owns a stake, as it sought to strengthen its balance sheet ahead of tougher trading conditions.
Matalan warned during the summer that its "ability to successfully refinance our debts involves geopolitical, economic and market factors outside the direct control of the business".
Hargreaves recently stepped down after a brief return as Matalan's chairman in order to participate in the bidding process. The Hargreaves family is being advised by Lazard, while Teneo is handling the sale and Perella Weinberg Partners is advising its senior lenders.
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