Advent International leads Poundland MBO

The private equity investor has backed the management buyout of the Wolverhampton-based discount retailer.

Advent International has led and arranged a management buyout at Poundland, a UK discount retailer. The firm, which operates 73 high street stores in major towns across the UK, sells all of its products for £1. The firm had a turnover of £140m for FY 2001 and the deal to acquire Poundland valued the firm at £50m.

Fred Wakemam led the deal for Advent International, in conjunction with Arthur Sherry at Bank of Scotland in Bristol, who put together the debt funding. The management was led by Poundland CEO David Dodd and finance director Robert Adams.

Advent’s plans for growing the company involve the creation of a further 60 stores which will see the firm move into Greater London, the South East and Scotland over the next three years.

Advent International has been an active investor in the retail and consumer sectors. European retail investments have included fashion chain, New Look, book, music and video retailer HMV Group, and retail optician, Vision Express and in the US, the firm recently sold its Dollar Express business, a single price retail chain, to Dollar Tree Stores for $375m.

Advent International has bought in former Safeway CEO Colin Smith as Poudland's chairman. According to Advent director Wakeman, “[Advent] identified Poundland two years ago as a company with considerable potential and, having approached them, found that our strategy for the discount sector in the UK was very similar to that developed by Poundland’s management.”

Since being established in 1990, Poundland has received numerous awards including a top 100 ranking in Europe’s Top 500 Companies, inclusion in the Virgin Fast Track 100 and, in 1999, the award of UK Retail Entrepreneur of the Year.