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Peacocks confirms strategic review ahead of possible sale

Peacocks chief executive Richard Kirk has confirmed that a strategic review of the business has begun and is likely to result in the sale of the value chain.

Peacocks chief executive Richard Kirk said the retailer’s shareholders, which include US hedge fund Och-Ziff, Perry Capital and Goldman Sachs’ private equity division, were discussing a sale of the business, set to be valued at £600m.

“They are looking now to realise that investment or will soon,” he said at the British Retail Consortium annual conference yesterday. “I’m not. I own 30% of it, I’m going to stay on in the business, I’m keen to carry on.”

Kirk said that trading for the year to date had been “exceptional” and that like-for-like sales growth had been in “high single digits”.

Peacocks is also understood to be in talks with its franchise partner in eastern Europe about opening more stores in Russia, Poland and the Ukraine.

The owners are yet to appoint an investment bank to manage a sale of the business.

Peacocks, which comprises the eponymous value chain and the mature value womenswear chain Bonmarche, was taken private for about £400m in December 2005 by a consortium led by Och-Ziff and Perry Capital.

The group attempted an £800m sale or refinancing of the business in 2007 but the plans were put on hold when the economy worsened.

Potential bidders during the 2007 process were understood to have included Bahrain investment fund Arcapita and private equity houses PAI and Cinven.

Readers' comments (1)

  • No wonder Peacocks is being a bit cautious about announcing that they are in a formal sale process, although Richard Kirk is definitely touting the business about. His speech at the conference was really interesting and definitely sold a growth story, particualrly overseas.
    However, they failed to sell back in 2007 when the market turned sour and now, as it seems to be picking up again, they dont want egg opn their faces again.
    A lot of deals have been pulled or postponed recently - Matalan, TJ Hughes and New Look for example, and look at Original Factory Shop, which is being quite cautious about the fact that it is exploring a potential sale option. So it is understanable if Peacocks is being the same.
    It is good news for the business that Richard Kirk wants to stay on. He has done a good job of turning it around since he bought it in the late ninties.

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