QS bags Bewise in value buy-out

Value clothing retailer QS has bought Bewise, the family fashion and household goods chain, for an undisclosed sum.

QS's 180-plus stores and Bewise will create a 372-shop business, with a turnover of£220 million.

The two chains will be run as independent businesses for 18 months, but integration under one brand is likely.

QS chief executive Serge Khela said he aims to wrestle market share from value competitors such as Peacocks, Bonmarche and Primark.

'There are some major pressures on the sector, and we will now be geared to take on competition. We will be a bigger, fitter, more focused organisation,' he said.

Khela said he would consider a public listing for the business should the opportunity arise, but only after the 18-month appraisal period is over.

Bewise chief executive David Tucker will work for the group as a property consultant on a part-time basis, while Khela will take over as group chief executive.

Tucker decided to sell Bewise because he was looking for an exit, having been at the business for 27 years.

The acquisition was funded by Barclays. Specialist director Phil Sweeting said: 'The strategic fit of the two businesses, allied to the plans of the business going forward, make it a particularly attrac-tive proposition from our perspective.'