A raft of potential buyers are circling HobbyCraft, including cycling and motoring accessories specialist Halfords and private equity house Isis, ahead of a February 26 deadline for first-round bids.
Halfords chief executive David Wild told Retail Week he is considering acquisition targets that are “UK-based and broadly adjacent to its business”. He would not comment on particular targets or time frames but said that the strength of Halfords’ balance sheet means it must consider acquisitions.
The source said there are synergies between the two retailers, with an overlap in customer base and a “geographical” stores synergy.
However, another source close to the situation said Halfords’ interest in HobbyCraft was “quite eyebrow raising. There does not appear to be any synergies whatsoever”.
Isis is casting its slide rule over the art and crafts retailer, whose chief executive Chris Crombie is proposing a management buyout. HobbyCraft has been valued at £70m but sources suggest it could be sold for closer to £100m. Grant Thornton is handling the sale
Halfords will save more than £4m a year as it consolidates its distribution centres. Wild said the costs were accounted for last year and added that profits are set to top £110m this year, up by about 20%.