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Cerberus to buy Focus

Distressed Debt specialist Cerberus is expected to aquire Focus DIY within the next few days.

Sources indicate that they will be picking up the third largest DIY Retailer in the UK for the knock-down price of £250m, as a result of the £280m of debt that has held back the retailer in recent years. Bondholders of Focus are expected to accept an offer of around 40p in the pound.

Focus was founded in 1987 by current Chairman Bill Archer, and is currently backed by equity firms Apax and Duke Street Capital.

Bill Archer who holds 11.5% of the company's share capital, Apax Partners which holds 30% and Duke Street Capital with 43%, are unlikely to receive anything from the sale.

However, despite the latest position, their investment has not been wasted, after they realised £500m after Focus sold Wickes to Travis Perkins in March 2005. It is not yet clear whether Bill Archer will remain involved in the business after the sale.

14 June 2007
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