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Wyevale rumoured to be appointing a new CEO

Wyevale website Feb 2016 725 x 500

It has been reported by Sky News that Wyevale is set to announce a new chief executive.

The former head of Sainsbury's is accelerating his shake-up of one of the City's best-known private equity portfolios by luring the boss of Toys 'R' Us in Britain to run Wyevale, the garden centre operator.

Sky News understands that Terra Firma Capital Partners is close to naming Roger McLaughlan as chief executive of Wyevale, with an announcement possible as soon as this week.

Mr McLaughlan, a former Asda executive, has run Toys 'R' Us' UK operations since 2012, and has also worked for Marks & Spencer and Floors-2-Go.

His recruitment to Wyevale has been engineered by Justin King, the former Sainsbury's boss who joined Terra Firma last year to oversee its multibillion pound portfolio of investments.

Last week, Mr King installed a new chief executive of AWAS, one of the world's largest aircraft leasing companies.

The appointment of Mr McLaughlan is likely to dampen speculation in the City that Terra Firma is preparing for an imminent auction of Wyevale, which reports have suggested could command a £700m price tag.

The private equity group, which is chaired by Guy Hands, the prominent financier, is also exploring a sale of Odeon and UCI Cinemas, the multiplex operator it has owned for more than decade.

Wyevale operates more than 140 garden centres, and was acquired by Terra Firma to enable it exploit consumer trends which show that almost half of British adults participate in gardening, a figure which rises to nearly two-thirds of those aged 45 and above.

Mr McLaughlan will replace Kevin Bradshaw at the helm of Wyevale.

Terra Firma, which also owns the embattled care home chain Four Seasons Health Care, declined to comment on Wednesday.

Source : Mark Kleinman – Sky News

09 March 2016

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