Derek Hunt, the former boss of MFI, has died.

Analyst Nick Bubb said Hunt “played a pivotal role” in the retail sector in the 1980s, when he was chief executive of MFI.

Hunt, who was often described as a “burly former policeman” by newspapers, led MFI when it was deemed “one of the stars of the era”, according to Bubb.

Under Hunt’s leadership MFI merged with Asda, but he later led a management buyout in 1987, which valued it at £715m – at the time the largest ever management buyout. Five years later it refloated on the Stock Exchange.

Hunt later became chairman but retired from the board in 2000.