Debt specialist likely to pay £250m
Distressed debt specialist Cerberus is poised to acquire DIY group Focus for a knock-down price within the next few days.

Cerberus is likely to pay about£250 million for Britain's third-biggest DIY chain, which is profitable but has laboured under a debt burden of£280 million. Focus bondholders appear likely to settle for about 40p in the pound.

Focus, founded in 1987 by entrepreneur Bill Archer, is backed by private equity firms Duke Street Capital and Apax, for whom it has been a successful investment. They realised£500 million after selling Focus's Wickes chain to Travis Perkins. It is unclear whether Archer will remain involved with Focus after the sale.

Retail Week revealed in February that Cerberus, named after the hellhound of Greek mythology, was the frontrunner to buy Focus.