Theo Paphitis, the Dragon’s Den star and owner of Ryman Stationery, has acquired hardware retailer Robert Dyas.
Paphitis, who also owns lingerie retailer Boux Avenue, will join the Robert Dyas board as chairman. He will be joined on the board by Ryman group chief executive Kypros Kyprianou.
Paphtis said: “I am very pleased with the purchase of the Robert Dyas business.
“It is a business which fits well with my investment criteria and I’m looking forward to working with the management team who have done an excellent job in getting Robert Dyas to where it is today.”
The deal was done through Paphitis’ wholly-owned company Gladys Emmanuel Limited which bought the retailer for an “undisclosed sum”, although it has been previously reported the deal would be for around £10m.
Current chief executive Graham Coles will remain in his role along with other members of the Robert Dyas board. Chairman Geoff Brady and non-executive director Ian Gray will leave the board.
Brady said: “I am delighted that the business has attracted an entrepreneur of Theo’s stature: his track record for growing retail businesses is second to none. Under his chairmanship Ryman, which shares both the “convenience” retail positioning of Robert Dyas and a long and distinguished history on Britain’s high street, has gone from strength to strength growing both organically and through acquisitions.
“The sales process attracted a great deal of interest from potential buyers, both from the UK and overseas, but I believe this transaction provides significant benefits both to the Robert Dyas team and to our customers. We will not only benefit from the expertise and experience of Theo and his team, but will also see a considerable strengthening of our financial position that will support the continuing development of the Robert Dyas business.”
Since a debt for equity restructuring of Robert Dyas in 2009, the majority shareholders of Robert Dyas have been Allied Irish Banks and Lloyds Banking Group.
Robert Dyas, which operates 96 stores and employs 1,000 staff, was put up for sale earlier this year. Cavendish Corporate Finance was appointed in September last year to sell the business led by
In the year to March 31 like-for-like sales at the retailer advanced 3.8%. According to Robert Dyas its sales performance “accelerated” in the second half of that fiscal year and the momentum has continued into the current year.