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TJ Hughes sold to Endless and management

TJ Hughes, the discount department store chain, has been acquired by its management backed by restructuring specialist Endless in a move predicted by Drapers.

TJ Hughes’ private equity backers Silverfleet Capital have sold the 57-store discount department store chain to its management, headed up by chief executive Beatrice Lafon, for an undisclosed amount. The deal was backed by Endless, the turnaround investor which has stakes in businesses including discount bookseller The Works.

Silverfleet Capital partner Gareth Whiley said: “TJ Hughes has in place an excellent management team and it has been a pleasure working with them. We wish them, and Endless every success in this next phase.”

Silverfleet acquired the TJ Hughes business in November 2003 as part of a management buyout worth £56m. It pulled a potential £70m sale of the business in June last year, with sources at the time attributing the decision to market conditions.

This week, it was reported that TJ Hughes had its credit insurance pulled by credit insurer Euler Hermes and that the business had been refinanced using an asset-based facility with Burdale, an arm of the Bank of Ireland, to give it access to £15m to £20m of working capital.

Lafon joined TJ Hughes in January following the departure of Sue Tennant. She was a former chief executive of Dutch value chain The Etam Group until July 2010 and prior to that was commerical director of Woolworths for an interim period in 2006.

She began her career in buying and merchandising roles at Marks & Spencer, The Burton Group and River Island.

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