British retailer sells unit to US firm

Listed UK retailer GUS Plc has agreed to sell a North American business services unit in an MBO backed by Baltimore- and Chicago-based Sterling Capital Partners.

The unit, called the Lettershop, Printing and Packaging Services division, will be based in Lincoln, Nebraska. Senior management of the unit, led by president James Drake, participated in the transaction, according to a press release. Jim McQuaid, former chief executive officer of Metromail, will become chairman and CEO of the new company.


The new company, called MetroGroup Corp., also has operations in Iowa and Vermont.


Also included in the deal were the assets of Cole Services, which provides directories.


MetroGroup was a division of Experian, a GUS unit which maintains operations in Costa Mesa, California and Nottingham, UK.


Sterling Capital was founded in 1983. The firm also has a venture arm called Sterling Venture Partners, formed in 2000, as well as a real estate arm.