Warburg may sell Poundland for £600m

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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BUDGET retailer Poundland could be sold for as much as £600 million as its owner plans to cash in on demand from hard-pressed consumers.

Venture capital firm Warburg Pincus, which bought the 450-strong retail outlet chain for £200m in 2010, is eyeing either a sale or a flotation of the business next year, with an auction considered the most-likely option.

Fast-growing Poundland has said that it plans to increase its number of UK stores to 1,000 over the next five to ten years. Last year it opened 60 stores and it said it will do the same this year.

The firm, chaired by former Tesco director Andrew Higginson, has enjoyed strong sales. Last year turnover rose to £780.1m from £518.4m in 2011, while pre-tax profits rose to £18.2m from £10.4m in the same period.

Poundland was founded by Dave Dodd and Stephen Smith in 1990 with its first store in Burton-upon-Trent.

It expects to hire 2,000 more people this year, taking the Willenhall-based retailer’s total staff to 14,000 workers.

Manhattan-based Warburg is also reported to be considering a sale at the luxury end of the market as it looks to offload its stake in US department store group Neiman Marcus for $8 billion (£5.1bn).

At the same time, the venture capitalist is thought to be in exclusive talks with Banco Santander to buy up a piece of its asset management business, which has €160bn (£135bn) of assets in the UK, Spain, and South America.