Matalan sale to complete by end of January after multiple bids
We should know the name of the new owner of Matalan by next month after an unspecified “number of interested parties” placed bids for the retailer.
The process to sell the company should complete by the end of January with the retailer also set to deliver a “comprehensive update to the market” at that time.
We don't know how many bids came in, although at least two groups are known to have been interested. But reports have suggested there are four interested groups.
They include company founder John Hargreaves in a 50:50 deal with Elliott Advisors, and a joint bid comprising turnaround specialist Alteri and OpCapita. The retailer’s senior lenders are also believed to be bidding. They include Invesco, Tresidor Investment Management and Man GLG.
It's been a turbulent year for the company, and it's to be hoped that whoever wins the bidding process can bring some stability and growth to the retailer.
It came into play as a takeover target after it failed to refinance £350 million worth of debt in the summer and the group of lenders pushed the company into the sale process.
That was despite improving sales. In late September it said trading had recovered since the height of the pandemic, with the company reporting 13-week Q2 sales of £286.4 million, up from £264.7 million last year. That was close to the £292 million recorded in the 14-week pre-pandemic period in 2020. The trading update also mentioned “ongoing growth momentum”. But profits still fell.
As it began the formal process to find a new owner, it took a positive step by naming veteran retail executive Nigel Oddy as its interim CEO, also in late September.
With the auction running in the background, he’s been rationalising the business and made its chief commercial officer redundant with James Brown stepping down from his board-level role with immediate effect.
Hargreaves, who’d returned to chair the business earlier in the year, stepped aside at that point in order to take part in the bidding process.
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