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Chris Dawson expresses interest in buying Focus

Chris Dawson, owner and founder of The Range, the home, leisure and garden retailer, has expressed an interest in buying the Focus DIY stock and stores.

Focus announced yesterday that it planned to put itself into administration. After defaulting on its credit facility, the retailer said it had no other option. The move puts 4,000 jobs at risk.

Dawson, who previously bought all the MFI and Empire Direct stock and stores, said he was keen to do a deal. The possible buyout would instantly add to the current portfolio of 51 stores that The Range operates.

Dawson said: “It would be a deal that would create and save jobs and help the country’s economic recovery, I have a proven track record that I will do these kind of deals if people are serious and sensible.”

Focus is expected to trade as normal until an administrator is appointed. However, its website is no longer taking orders online. The retailer underwent a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in 2009 to avoid administration but has struggled in the difficult economic conditions. Cerberus, the private equity firm, bought the business in 2007 and invested a reported £200 million in trying to turn the business around.

Source : The Retail Bulletin

05 May 2011
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