Up for grabs.

Bids are in for Bathstore

Published:  18 January, 2011

LEAMINGTON SPA: Four private equity groups are believed to have submitted bids for Bathstore by last Wednesday's deadline, according to the Guardian newspaper.

First-round bidders are set to find out today if they have got any further in their attempts to buy the chain, which has 160 shops across the country.

Wolseley is selling Bathstore because it does not fit with Wolseley's wholesale focus. The national merchant bought Bathstore in 2003, and has expanded it from 33 stores.

Wolseley wants to sell to private equity rather than to a trade competitor according to the newspaper. Early reports suggested it hoped to get £150m for Bathstore, but analysts expect it to sell for £70m to £90m.

Information sent to 30 private equity houses at the end of last year showed the firm was making around £13m a year. Catalyst Corporate Finance is handling the sale.

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