Management and Icelandic backers buy chain
Outdoor clothing retailer Mountain Warehouse has been sold for£15 million to its management team and Icelandic backers Arev.

Arev, which is run by Jón Scheving Thorsteinsson, completed the deal for the 33-store business on Tuesday. The company was sold by NBGI Private Equity, the investment arm of the National Bank of Greece. It invested£1.6 million in Mountain Warehouse in 2002.

Scheving Thorsteinsson is a former colleague of Baugur chief Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson and led the acquisition of Hamleys by Baugur in 2003.

Mountain Warehouse managing director Mark Neale and his management team, which consists of buying director Shantelle Augier and retail director Carl Deering, have taken a majority stake in the retailer as part of the deal.

Neale will remain at the outdoor clothing group 'indefinitely' following the sale to drive ambitious expansion plans. 'The strategy is to open more shops,' he told Retail Week. 'We think there is lots of opportunity for Mountain Warehouse.'

Neale said that like-for-likes for June were up by more than 40 per cent because of demand for outdoor gear during the poor weather and the Glastonbury festival.

Mountain Warehouse reported sales of£17.5 million for the year to February 28, 2007. Arev-owned brands include Ghost womenswear and Jones the Bootmaker.