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White Stuff set for £150m sale or flotation

Lifestyle retailer and brand White Stuff is understood to be preparing for a sale or flotation, which could value the business at £150m.

According to the Independent, founders and majority shareholders Sean Thomas and George Treves, who together control 75% of the retailer’s equity are said to be considering which advisor to appoint with a view to selling an undisclosed stake in the business in the next 18 months.

Chief executive Sally Bailey said the owners were keen on selling the business but the timing of a sale would depend on conditions on the high street.

White Stuff, which has around 75 stores in the UK, is privately owned by its founders and management and in 2008 held talks about a sale of a minority stake of between 10% and 20% with private equity houses such as Phoenix Equity.

In March the retailer announced it would expand into foreign market as chairman Vince Gwilliam stepped down from his role to become senior independent director. It was understood he would devote more time to his day job as a partner and head of the consumer team at Bridgepoint, the private equity house.

Last year White Stuff reported a record year for the 52 weeks to May 1, including a 43% increase in sales to £83.7m and 38% increase in EBITDA to £18.4m.

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