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Advent International sells Poundland to Warburg Pincus

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4 May 2010, London – Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced the sale of Poundland, Europe’s largest single price discount retailer, to private equity firm Warburg Pincus. The value of the transaction was undisclosed.

Founded in 1990, Poundland is a general merchandise retailer which offers branded and own-label products across a broad range of categories, including health and beauty, household products, food, occasions and entertainment, all at the single price point of £1.  The company currently serves almost 3 million customers a week and is forecast in 2011 to generate revenues in excess of £700m.

Advent acquired Poundland in June 2002 having led a management buyout. During its ownership, Advent has grown the business through a successful store roll-out programme from just 70 stores to more than 260 across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, establishing it as the single price market leader.  In this period, the business has trebled its customer base and created more than 4,000 jobs, currently employing more than 7,000 people.  It is headquartered in Willenhall, West Midlands.
The single price retailing model has been highly successful in the UK, Europe and North America and Poundland has proven to be both resilient during the recession and a strong performer in periods of economic growth. The UK discount retail market size alone is estimated to be worth £24 billion and more robust than many other sub-sectors within the retail sector.  

Jim McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer of Poundland, said:
“We have enjoyed continued support and witnessed tremendous growth under Advent’s ownership. Through our partnership, focused around a very successful programme of new store openings, we have brought Poundland’s ‘Amazing Value’ shopping experience to even more customers across the country.  This deal is great news for all of our customers, colleagues and suppliers and one that will support our ongoing growth plan.”

Ron Sheldon, Managing Director, Advent International, said:
“The Poundland brand has become synonymous with the value it provides to its many customers and we are proud to have helped the business become what it is today.”

Tim Franks, Managing Director, Advent International, said:
“We have greatly enjoyed working with Poundland’s first-rate management team in growing the business and over eight years, creating a market-leading business. This is a fantastic deal for Poundland and its employees and recognises the long-term potential for this exciting brand.”

Advent has been investing in the retail, consumer products and leisure sectors since 1984. Over the last 10 years Advent has completed over 25 investments in these sectors across Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia. Recent retail investments include DFS and Fat Face (UK), Dufry, Hudson News, Charlotte Russe, Lululemon and Dollar Express (North America), Gerard Darel and Stokomani (France) and Takko (Germany).

Advent was advised by Close Brothers (Corporate Finance and Debt Advisory), Weil Gotshal and Manges (Legal) and KPMG (Financial).  Warburg Pincus was advised by Credit Suisse (Corporate Finance), PwC (Financial and Commercial) and Clifford Chance (Legal).

About Poundland

• Poundland is the original, the biggest and the most successful single price discount retailer in Europe.
• Poundland currently employs over 7,000 colleagues and has 266 stores nationwide.
• Poundland sells high quality products for just £1, providing customers with amazing value every time they visit.
• Serving almost 3 million customers every week, Poundland is an irresistible shopping experience where shoppers are guaranteed to find quality brands and something new each time they visit for the single price point of just £1.
• As well as 3,000 everyday product lines across 16 categories, Poundland, the general merchandise single price retailer offers shoppers amazing value on 1,000 top brands including Maxwell House coffee, Whitworths sugar, Colgate toothpaste, Walkers crisps & snacks and Kodak batteries.


Ron Sheldon

Special Partner, UK

T: +44 (0)20 7333 0800
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Tim Franks

Managing Director, UK

T: +44 (0) 207 333 0800
Office details