Private equity firm Montagu has owned Maplin since 2004 and previously tried to sell the retailer in 2011. PwC led the sale process this time around which has resulted in the agreement to sell to Rutland Partners.
According to an announcement from Rutland Partners, the equity firm focusses on ‘special situations where, through change, restructuring and investment, it can help improve the business. Maplin represents an exciting opportunity for Rutland to build on recently improved performance in the business and help management deliver a broad based strategic plan aimed at releasing its further potential. Rutland is backing John Cleland and the incumbent management team’.
Rutland’s Nick Morrill said: “We are delighted to be able to invest in Maplin and recognise the great progress made by management so far in the recovery of the business but more importantly the potential still to be unlocked. We believe our history and the focus of our investment strategy differentiates us in the private equity market. It makes us a powerful and supportive investment partner, able to make a real difference to the success of Maplin and we are excited by the challenge in front of us all.”
Maplin CEO John Cleland added: “Our strategic plans for Maplin represent substantial growth in sales and profit, continuing on the journey already mapped out that focusses on improved customer experience in all key channels, substantially broadening our range of products and innovation, and investing in our ability to offer the best electronics and technical advice to our customers. The management look forward to working closely with Rutland Partners in the future; they bring a wealth of strategic and operational experience which Maplin will benefit from as they support us in our plans to take the business forward.”
Maplin started in 1972 as a small mail order business, and now operates over 210 stores across the UK and Ireland. In recent years, it has reportedly invested in a new web platform and refocused the business on innovation and ‘first in, last out’ product ranges. In addition, the business has invested heavily in online cross channel retailing and fulfilment disciplines.