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Focus appoints Rothschild to advise on sale

Focus DIY has confirmed that they have appointed bankers Rothschild to advise it on the potential sale of the business.

The firm advised that this was one of a number of options which it was considering, as a result of the need to restructure its finances. Focus is currently in the middle of talks with its shareholders and lenders to find a way to restructure its debt, which may include changes to its equity structure.

The business reported underlying profits of £42.7m in the trading year to October 2006, slightly down on the year before, and total sales fell 5% to £700m over the period.

However, Focus also advised that its performance in recent months had improved and that like for like sales for the 17 week period ending 2nd January, were up 1.9%. They said that although the market remained challenging, sales had picked up since the summer and that it had grown market share.

Focus CEO Steve Johnson, stated that "Focus had traded well over the last two years", and "With the support of a number of key financial stakeholders, the board is now keen to evaluate the most appropriate ownership and financing structure for the group going forward."

11 January 2007
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