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Matalan lenders to take ownership of business

Tom Shearsmith
16 January 2023

Lenders to Matalan are preparing to take ownership, in a deal set to John Hargreaves’ control of the business he founded almost 40 years ago.

A group of investors including Invesco, Man GLG, Tresidor and Napier Park, have reportedly agreed to exchange about £150m of what they are owed in return for equity in the business.

The deal will also see investors inject £100m into the business, helping to safeguard the future of the discount clothing and homeware retailer.

Previous reports suggested that at least two other parties were interested in the running the business, which included a 50-50 bid led by Matalan founder John Hargreaves and Elliott Advisors, and a joint bid between Alteri and OpCapita.

The deal will wipe out the existing equity held by Hargreaves’ family, meaning the founder will not be repaid the £50m loan made in June 2020 and the value of his £18m second lien debt will also be reduced to zero.

Sources close to the process reportedly said the lenders were in talks with Nigel Oddy, Matalan's interim CEO, about the possibility of making the role permanent if they succeed in gaining control.

In a statement last month, Matalan said: "All transactions under consideration provide for a material reduction of Matalan’s debt.

"The stable and sustainable balance sheet will put the company in a position of financial strength, allowing it to execute on its business plan and deliver its growth strategy. The outcome of the sales process will not impact the continued operations of the business or our colleagues, suppliers or other partners."

The deal is expected to be confirmed today.

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