Scottish chain plans to expand south
Internaçionale, the Glasgow-based retailer, has been snapped up in a£45 million management buy-out by a team who have pledged to expand the business. Retailer Ken Cairnduff has sold the firm, which owns 147 Au Naturale and Internaçionale stores throughout the UK, to Internaçionale's senior management, who are being backed by a private equity consortium led by Penta Capital and Barclays Scottish Leveraged Finance

The parent company will now be known as Ossian Retail Group and Ossian chief executive Norrie Stewart said: 'This is a profitable, fast-growing, cash-generative business and the investment from Penta and Barclays positions us well for rolling out the next phase of growth. This should see us expand further south after building a strong presence in Scotland and the north of England.'

The deal includes the company's homeware chain Au Naturale, which has 79 outlets across the UK in addition to Internaçionale's 68 stores. Au Naturale also has 15 concessions within Internaçionale.

Cairnduff who retains a minority share in the company and originally launched the chain as Razzle Dazzle in 1979 said: 'I'm delighted that my directors have succeeded. Internacionale/Au Naturale is a big company now and Norrie and his team bring the structure and control to take it forward even more. My baby is in excellent hands.'

The Group employs over 2,700 people in the UK and has a turnover of£125 million, up 11 per cent from last year. Operating profits this year were in excess of£5 million, up 21 per cent on the previous year. Glasgow-based private equity house Penta Capital supported the management team by leading a£10 million equity syndicate that included Graphite Capital and Bear Stearns Private Equity Limited. Barclays Scottish Leveraged Finance injected£30 million into the deal.