LDC sells £85m stake in Mountain Warehouse to existing management team
Exit represents double return on investment for private equity firm
Specialist outdoor retailer Mountain Warehouse today announced it has completed an £85m takeover of the business, buying back a significant minority shareholding from private equity firm Lloyds Development Capital (LDC).
Founded in 1997 by Mark Neale, Mountain Warehouse sells outdoor clothing and gear in locations popular with walkers and tourists.
It has grown strongly since LDC’s original investment of £47m in August 2010, growing turnover from £47.5m to £75.6m and opening 60 new stores over the period.
The £85m transaction enables the existing management team, led by Neale, to take full ownership of the 169-strong chain.
Neale said the buy-out will see the company aggressively push into global markets, with 300 new stores across Europe planned.
The deal represents a successful exit for LDC, who has seen the valuation of its stake almost double over a three-year period, despite challenging economic conditions.
The buy-out was backed by finance from Royal Bank of Scotland and European income fund Alcentra.
Mark Neale, founder and CEO of Mountain Warehouse, said: “We have had fantastic support from LDC in helping us expand the business despite tough market conditions.
“Having had four private equity investors over the last 16 years, we have now taken the opportunity to buy back full control and to push ahead with our exciting expansion plans. I am delighted that RBS and Alcentra are backing the team for this important next phase of growth.”
Bertie Aykroyd, investment director at LDC, added: “Mark and his team have delivered a strong performance in some of the most difficult conditions the retail sector has seen for many years.
“Thanks to a clear strategy, a highly capable team and a strong proposition, they’ve taken the business to the next level where it can now continue to grow and develop.”