Former resort firm set to float

B & M Bargains

B & M Bargains

Blackpool founded discount retailers B & M is said to be poised to announce a £2bn flotation.

The company, which opened its first shop in the resort and which still has five stores on the Fylde coast, is reported to be set to announce the money-making move next week.

US private equity fund Clayton Dubilier & Rice bought a majority share in the company in 2012.

It was founded in 1976 by Malcolm Billington, but was bought by brothers Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora in 2005 when it had 21 stores –mainly in the North West.

The Aroras became multi-millionaires when the US outfit took its stake, and stand to make even more during the initial public offering.

The Sunday Times this weekend put the combined wealth of the Sale-born brothers at £1.4bn, up from £1.1bn 
a year ago.

After the brothers took over, B&M Retail relocated its head office from Squires Gate to Liverpool’s Estuary Commerce Park in 2010 when around 700 jobs in the resort were lost. It opened stores across the country rapidly and is now said to be looking to 
target overseas locations.

Former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy is chairman of the company.

B&M sells everything from household textiles and homewares, to furniture, toys, and food and drink.

In its latest annual accounts, filed earlier in September, B&M revealed a 31 per cent surge in sales to £935m in the 12 months to December 2012. Pre-tax profits grew in that period by £47.5m to £83.9m.

B&M Retail has more than 350 stores across the UK and employs in excess of 11,500 staff.




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