Bathstore sold in an MBO

Wed, 02 Jul 2014 | MBO/MBI

Bathroom retailer Bathstore has been sold in a management buy out deal, providing an exit for turnaround investor Endless.

Endless bought the flagging 172-store business in 2012 for £115 million, and has since turned it around, growing its sales by 30 per cent and EBITDA by £5 million.

The deal will see Endless - who has ploughed about £11 million into the business - pocket a fivefold return, though the exact sale figure is unknown.

Endless brought in Gary Favell, the former chief executive of furniture seller MFI, to build its online growth, customer service and new product lines.

American billionaire Warren Stephens, who already has interests in private equity and banking, has backed the MBO and is working with Bathstore’s bosses, including Favell, to achieve the deal.

Favell commented on the situation: “Endless’ support has been invaluable in helping us deliver the improvement in business performance. With their support we have re-established bathstore as the market leading brand in the sector. With our new partner we will continue bathstore’s growth into the future.”

Founded in 1988 as a plumbing and heating trade shop in Croydon, London, it was known as Bathrooms Direct until 2002. It was purchased by builder’s merchant Wolesley in 2003, who grew store numbers from 50 to 182 by the end of 2007/08. It had to be restructured after the recession set in, with about 19 stores shut down.

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Related information:
Business Sale Report blog - Economic recovery separates the weak and strong


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