Retail entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter has put his footwear chain Office up for sale, with a potential price-tag of £200m.
Hunter, who owns Office via his West Coast Capital private equity business, has appointed UK corporate advisory boutique Hawkpoint and US investment firm Financo to explore options for Office.
The decision follows a number of unsolicited approaches for the business earlier this year after Office notched up a strong performance in the year to January, when EBITDA rose to £18.5m, up from £10.5m.
Since West Coast Capital acquired Office in 2003 for about £15m, the business, led by chief executive Brian McCluskey, has tripled its store numbers to 124.
“West Coast Capital has held the business for seven years now so this is timely in the life cycle of private equity, particularly given we have received several unsolicited approaches for the business,” said McCluskey.
A spokesman added that Office also has opportunities worldwide, and has a strong European strategy for its website.
Office, which plans to put out an information memorandum at the end of August, said the company has continued to increase its profits and is performing well but would not disclose current trading.
West Coast Capital is believed to be seeking offers of between £150m to £200m for Office.
If sold for £150m, the valuation would be eight times its EBITDA of £18.5m. The spokesman added that the decision to test the market for valuations was spurred by the sale of young fashion chain Republic which was sold for about £300m to private equity house TPG, while SuperGroup successfully joined the Stock Exchange in March.
Separately, footwear chain Schuh said that it had notched up record results in the year to March 28. EBITDA rose 21% to £17.3m and sales grew £12m to £146m. Managing director Colin Temple said the retail sector was “more resilient” last year than many predicted.
Also this week, footwear brand Faith was understood to be being sold. The frontrunner is Debenhams.