Iceland Foods chief executive Malcolm Walker has completed the deal to buy back the retailer for £1.45bn.

Walker has bought the remaining 77% of the frozen food retailer he did not already own with backing from co-investors Lord Kirkham and The Landmark Group.

The Iceland senior management team – comprising Malcolm Walker, finance director Tarsem Dhaliwal, buying director Nigel Broadhurst and Nick Canning, executive director for people and customers – will together own 43% of the equity and will have operational control.

The three new equity co-investors will own the remaining 57%.

Former managing director Andy Pritchard has decided to retire from the company and is not participating in the buyout.

Walker entered exclusive talks with the retailer’s owners, collapsed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir, on February 16.

The buyout is backed by an £860m all-senior debt package funded by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Nomura and RBS, as well as a £250m vendor loan note. 

Walker, who assumes chairman responsibilities alongside his chief executive role, said:  “I am utterly delighted that we have been able to conclude a deal that ensures a secure, independent future for this great British company.

“Our new equity partners in the business are like-minded entrepreneurs who share our belief in doing the right thing in the long term interests of our people and customers.

“We all look forward to working with them to build on the outstanding success that Iceland has achieved as one of the UK’s best performing food retailers since the current senior management team returned to the company in 2005.” 

Walker vyed with Morrisons and Asda, as well as private equity firms BC Partners and Bain Capital, in two rounds of bidding for the retailer before entering the exclusive talks.

He added: “I know that this will be warmly welcomed by our 23,000 staff, whose responses to the recent Best Companies survey gave us the supreme accolade of Best Big Company to Work For in the UK in 2012.

“It is also great news for our suppliers and our five million customers, who will continue to benefit from our commitment to bringing them continuous, genuine product innovation, outstanding value and the best service on the high street, together with our unique home delivery service.”