Sir Terry Leahy takes role at B&M Bargains

Liverpool-based chain has 315 stores and employs more than 10,000 staff

Former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy is to chair northern discount retailer B&M Bargains, which has been sold to US private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice.

The three Arora brothers, who bought B&M in 2005 from UBS Capital which acquired it in 1999, stand to make millions from the sale which is thought to have valued the business at about £965m. They will stay on to manage the company.

Liverpool-based B&M Stores, which was founded in Blackpool in 1976, has 315 stores in the north of England, Scotland, northern Ireland and Wales and employs more than 10,000 staff, who serve more than two million customers every week.

CD&R said it had taken a significant stake in the mixed goods discounter without disclosing the terms.

Since being acquired by Manchester-born Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora seven years ago, the company has grown rapidly from a loss-making discount chain with 20 stores into a booming business with annual sales of more than £1bn. It sells branded food and non-food products, from toys to fashion, at a discount, and has benefited from the demise of Woolworths and Kwik Save whose empty shops it has taken over. The Arora brothers previously set up Orient Sourcing Services, which provided homewares and soft furnishings to companies including Tesco, Argos and Bhs.

Liverpudlian Leahy, who is a senior adviser to CD&R, will take on the chairmanship of B&M. He will be joined on the board by former Unilever executive Vindi Banga and David Novak and Marco Herbst of CD&R. The US firm’s plan is to provide the firepower for B&M’s expansion across the UK, and overseas.

“B&M is a fantastic retail format in the growing discount sector,” said Novak. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the management team to accelerate the growth of the business by widening its market presence outside of the UK, and continue to build the B&M brand. We believe the value based general merchandise retail model could have significant appeal in overseas markets.” © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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