Maplin’s owners have sold the electricals retailer to private equity firm Rutland Partners for £85m.

The figure is down on the £224m Montagu Private Equity paid for it in 2004. However, sources have pointed out Maplin, which has more than 210 shops, has paid down most of its debt

It emerged earlier this month that Montagu had been in exclusive talks to sell Maplin to Rutland Partners.

Retiring chairman of Maplin John Lovering said following the deal that he believes the retailer is “on the threshold of a great period of its history”.

Lovering added: “Maplin has been a long-term investment for Montagu. They managed the business carefully and prudently through the recession, maximising cash flow and emerging in a post-Lehman world as a deleveraged survivor.

“The team Montagu recruited, led by John Cleland, has done an excellent job. It is now time for a new shareholder to take the business forward, building on the strong foundations laid.”

Lovering revealed that current trading is “strong” with EBITDA back in growth and recording high single-digit like-for-like growth.

Maplin chief executive John Cleland commented: “Working with the Montagu team over the last few years has been a very positive experience. They have been highly supportive of management’s plans to reposition Maplin for the future, which has enabled us to deliver on our growth plans. 

“The recent investment we have made in our shops, our new web platform, our exciting new product range and our people is really starting to pay off as we have enjoyed very strong like-for-like performance coming through in the first six months of 2014.” 

Maplin told Retail week last week it plans to aggressively expand its online arm and push its fledgling travel format into railway stations.

Maplin generates more than £220m in sales up from £100m when Montagu bought the retailer in 2004.