Value chain Poundstretcher has been bought by Majestic Wine owner Fortress for an undisclosed fee.

Exterior of Poundstretcher Catford store

Fortress Investment Group has struck a deal to buy Poundstretcher

The owner of Majestic Wine and Punch Pubs has struck a deal to acquire Poundstretcher, the value retailer that trades from more than 320 stores across the UK.

In a statement Fortress said it would be funding the acquisition entirely with equity, and that it sees Poundstretcher’s “national footprint, strong brand and focus on value offers [as] an attractive opportunity for investment and growth, as consumers continue to seek value for money”. 

As part of the acquisition, Fortress announced that former group commercial director at Morrisons Andy Atkinson would be joining the brand as CEO. Tristan Phillips will continue in his role at CFO, while former Morrisons chief operating officer Trevor Strain will join its board in a non-executive capacity.

In terms of its plans for the business, Fortress said: “colleagues, customers and suppliers are integral to Poundstretcher’s proposition, and management plans to listen to and engage with all stakeholders following completion of the transaction”. 

Fortress added it would: “improve the shopping experience for customers”, and insisted it was “committed to investing in the business so it can better servce customer needs and help Poundstretcher to grow its offering and reach across the UK”. 

Ahsan Aijaz, managing director and co-head of private equity at Fortress, said: “Poundstretcher is an exciting business in a critical part of the UK retail sector, and we recognise its importance to consumers across the country. We have long believed in the UK, and the consumer sector, as evidenced by our investments.

”We have a demonstrated history of investing in sponsored companies to drive growth, increase profitability and job creation—our  plans for Poundstretcher are no different. Fortress believes in empowering management teams to deliver their strategy and we look forward to working with the team to invest in and grow Poundstretcher.”

Incoming CEO Andy Atkinson said: “Poundstretcher is an exciting business with huge potential, in a large, growing and resilient sector. We are committed to being long term stewards of the business, investing to grow Poundstretcher and build on the great work established by Aziz and his team.”

Fortress has agreed to buy the business from outgoing owner Aziz Tayub who is retiring. Tayub had previously explored the possibility of floating Poundstretcher on the London stock market.

Based in Leicester, Poundstretcher employs some 4,000 people and was founded in 1981, selling food, toiletries, garden products and homeware brands.

Poundstretcher is a rival to Poundland, part of Pepco, and B&M, two of the largest value variety retailers in the UK.