Permira makes early pay-out

Permira is to make a £240m repayment to investors although it says it is as yet undecided on an exit strategy for Homebase.

Private equity firm Permira has today announced that it is to make an ahead-of-schedule £240m repayment to investors in Homebase, the UK DIY chain.

The early repayment comes as a product of better-than-expected results for Homebase since Permira acquired the company from J Sainsbury for £750m in March 2001.

Permira, formerly known as Schroder Ventures, is to return £14m to Schroder Ventures International Investment Trust (SVIIT), which invested £20m in the original acquisition of Homebase. SVIIT wrote up the valuation of its investment in Homebase to £30.5m in late 2001 to incorporate the firm’s improved performance.

The repayment has increased the possibility of an IPO for Homebase later this year, although speaking to Reuters, a Permira spokesperson said: 'We're still considering our options. We always have one mind on an exit strategy, but there's nothing decided as yet.'

Permira owns 70 per cent of the business, with J Sainsbury and management controlling 18 per cent and two per cent respectively.