skip to main content
  • *
  • *
  • *
Find Insight DIY on
* * *


Former M&S team bids for Bathstore

Former chairman Luc Vandevelde and ex-chief executive Roger Holmes are thought to have made one of four offers for the specialist bathrooms retailer. Change Capital, the private equity vehicle of former M&S chairman Luc Vandevelde and ex-chief executive Roger Holmes, is understood to have made an offer.

First-round bidders are set to find out tomorrow if they have got any further in their attempts to buy the chain, which has 160 shops across the country. Wolseley, the builders materials company, is selling Bathstore because it is out of step with its business-to-business focus.

Change Capital focuses on retail turnaround opportunities. Vandevelde and Holmes both left M&S in 2004 as it sought to fight off the advances of Sir Philip Green. Four private equity groups are thought to have submitted bids for Bathstore by last Wednesday's deadline.

LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds, is understood to be in the running, as is Electra and Morgan Stanley's private equity business. It was not clear tonight if there were any other first-round bidders. Sun Capital Partners, which owns Dolphin Bathrooms, has also been mentioned as a possible bidder. Dolphin sells fitted bathrooms, whereas Bathstore has more of a retail presence.

It is unclear too what role, if any, the founders Patrick Riley and Nico de Beer would have in any bid. Some have suggested Riley, who no longer works at Bathstore, might team up with a private equity group.

Wolseley bought Bathstore in 2003, and has expanded it from just 33 stores. The FTSE 100 group has been disposing of non-core businesses since last March as part of a concerted strategy to generate cash. It said then that it intended to sell 19 non-core businesses, and has already offloaded tool hire firm Brandon to Rutland Partners. It is thought Wolseley wants to sell to private equity rather than to a trade competitor.

Early reports suggested it hoped to get £150m for Bathstore, but analysts expect it to sell for £70m to £90m. Information sent to 30 private equity houses at the end of last year showed the firm was making around £13m a year.

Source : Alex Hawkes -

18 January 2011

Related News

view more UK DIY News

Insight DIY is the only source of market information that I need and they always have the latest news before anyone else.

Neil Anderton - Sales Director, British Ceramic Tile

Don't miss out on all the latest, breaking news from the DIY industry