DIY veterans to run business
US hedge fund and buy-out group Cerberus this morning confirmed that it has agreed a£220 million deal to buy DIY group Focus and that it has put a new management team in place.

Cerberus, whose interest in Focus was revealed by Retail Week (February 16) will pay a nominal£1 for the business, but will repay its senior debts, which total about£180 million. It will also repay existing mezzanine debt holders, or bond holders, at 40p in the pound, amounting to£40 million.

DIY veterans Bill Grimsey and Bill Hoskins - the double act who revived rival Wickes in the 1990s - will take charge of the business as chief executive and finance director respectively. Focus DIY chief executive Steve Johnson is to leave the 257-store DIY chain after the deal is completed at the end of July.

Cerberus has engaged restructuring specialist Hilco to assist with its restructuring, alongside the new management team. Hilco has been working with Cerberus throughout its analysis and planning of the transaction.

Bill Grimsey said: 'Focus has the potential to be one of the most successful operators in the DIY sector. In recent years, development has been constrained by its capital structure and uncertainty. With the resources and commitment of Cerberus, we will have the opportunity to exploit its potential in a fundamentally attractive DIY market.'