Lord Kirkham agrees DFS sale

It is believed 65-year-old Kirkham is selling DFS for some £500m, of which he will receive around £300m.

The deal was not always sure to get the green light, through. Only last month, Kirkham said he was “categorically not interested in selling the business”, as, being “loaded”, he didn’t need the money.

DFS, based in Doncaster, has sales of more than three times its nearest competitor, operating from 74 stores manned by 2,600 people. 

Richard Baker, former chief executive of Alliance Boots, who joined Advent as an operating partner in August 2009, will assume the role of chairman, taking over from the founder and current chairman, Lord Graham Kirkham, our sister title Real Deals reports.

“The company’s relative size and reputation as market leader has allowed it to perform well during the downturn,” said Andy Dawson, a director at Advent. “We intend to build on these strong foundations and evolve the existing business model in order to access more customers, through new store rollout, online and brand development.”

Advent beat rivals Cinven and Permira to the acquisition.

Full Circle Future, the holding company for the furniture retailer, saw pretax profits rebound from £5.5m (€6.3m) to £17.7m in the year to 1 August 2009. Turnover fell from £594.9m to £577.8m, while Ebitda rose from £61m to £86.7m, before an £11.3m bonus paid to Lord Kirkham.

According to the accounts, the company had long-term borrowings of £327.1m, which would mean a profit for Lord Kirkham at a £500m price tag.

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