Value group B&M Bargains has completed the acquisition of Opus Homewares for £48m, extending its presence north of the border and in Northern Ireland.

B&M borrowed £40m from Barclays Corporate in Manchester to help fund the purchase.

The deal brought 200-store B&M Bargains, which aims to become “the new Woolworths”, 36 shops.

Managing director Simon Arora told the Manchester Evening News: “This acquisition is strategically important to us and allows us to expand the business in parts of the UK, such as Scotland and Ireland, where we are under-represented.

“It will also increase our presence on retail parks, whereas previously we have targeted high streets in district and neighbourhood centres.”

The stores were formerly owned by Opus Estates, of which Simon Arora and his brother Bobby were directors.

The Aroras took control of B&M in 2005, when they bought it from private equity firm Phildrew Ventures. The retailer generates sales of £400m a year.