Blacks ventures pounds 50.8m on purchase of Millets chain

BLACKS LEISURE is to increase the number of Millets outlets by half following its pounds 51m acquisition of the camping and outdoor retailer's parent company, The Outdoor Group.

Outdoor acquired Millets from Sears in 1996 for pounds 14m through a management buy-in. Roy Crosland, Outdoor's chief executive who led the buy-in, will have responsibility in the enlarged group for its outdoor range, comprising Blacks Outdoor stores along with Millets, Air and Free Spirit, currently in The Outdoor Group. Mr Crosland will make pounds 3.5m in respect of his Outdoor shares.

Simon Bentley, Blacks' chairman and chief executive, said: "It's been successfully repositioned into a quality mainstream player. Outdoor's management have done a great job." The deal will add Outdoor's 216 outdoor retail stores to Blacks' existing chain of 221 outlets across the UK

Mr Bentley said the enlarged group would be reorganised into two divisions, including one for the 43 Blacks Outdoor stores and the three Outdoor Group chains. The second division will concentrate on Blacks' existing sports and fashion chains - 156 First Sport and 22 Active Venture shops.Tom Knight, who currently manages Blacks Outdoor, willbecome deputy chairman. He will continue to manage the group's sports retail division.

Blacks is paying pounds 50.8m, made up of 6.6 million shares and pounds 28.8m in cash funded by a new pounds 71.5m overdraft from Bank of Scotland. Outdoor, which comes with pounds 6m in debt, had sales of pounds 81m and operating profits of pounds 6.4m last year. Mr Bentley said the price was sensible for both parties.

Blacks will have 16 per cent of the market, compared to the 4 per cent of its nearest rival, Army Surplus Stores. It expects to reap scale economies from centralising purchasing and combining own brands.

Mr Bentley said few, if any, jobs would be lost as he planned around 15 new openings a year. The present retailing environment was difficult, however, because mild weather had dampened demand. "We need it to be cold," he said.

Nick Bubb, retail analyst at SG Securities, said: "It's a great price for Blacks. Outdoor were clearly in a bit of a corner. There are lots of synergy benefits and it's earnings enhancing. But it will be a big change for Roy Crosland, moving from running a business to reporting to someone."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Directory, ITIL, Reuter)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor