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Phase Eight could be bought by private equity firm

Womenswear chain Phase Eight could be bought by private equity firm Towerbrook Capital for almost £80m, according to reports.

Other private equity firms including LDC, the buyout arm of Lloyds Banking Group, and Inflexion have also been holding talks about acquiring the business, said The Telegraph.

It was reported that talks are being held as Phase Eight looks to refinance the company’s senior debt, which was provided by failed Icelandic investment bank Kaupthing.

The retailer, which has 82 stores and 125 concessions, was subject to a management buyout lead by chairman Michael Rahamim in May last year. The buyout was backed by Russian investors. Kew Capital invests on behalf of Russian Oligarch Alexander Ambramov and owns 30% of the business. Management own 40% and the remaining equity is held by outside investors.

Phase Eight is understood to have been a strong driver of sales in department stores where it is stocked and experienced somewhat of a turnaround in recent seasons. Its strong performance has attracted interest over the last year.

In the year to 2010, EBITDA was £11m.


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