Maplin sale called off
Maplin, which is owned by Montagu Private Equity, has been the subject of talks with private equity suitors for some months now but the deal is said to have been put on hold due to Montagu’s feeling that the valuation levels were not high enough. Montagu is said to be seeking £400 million plus for the asset.
It is now thought that Montagu will hold on to Maplin for a further year in the hope that there will an eventual upturn in the retail sector. The slowdown in UK retail sales was said to be a key factor influencing the decision to end the sale.
Montagu bought Maplin in 2004 for £244 million from Graphite Capital in a deal which was a secondary buy-out with the management.
Last year Maplin made a pre-tax loss of £32.7 million on sales of £213 million. The retailer specialises in selling niche electronic items but has suffered in the downturn due to consumers' waning appetite for these more peripheral items.
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