Bargain Booze owners seek to sell for £100m

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The Independent Online

The private-equity owners of Bargain Booze have kicked off a sale of the discount off-licence group for up to £100m.

ECI Partners has appointed the accountancy firm KPMG to run the sale process of the 600-store group and first-round bids are due around the end of September. Information memoranda were sent out earlier this month.

The group is run by franchisees and, in addition to the Bargain Booze format, includes the Bargain Booze Plus and Thorougoods chains, which offer a combination of an off-licence and a convenience store.

The retailer has benefited from the demise of rivals such as Threshers and delivered pre-tax profits of £13.2m for the year to 30 April 2010, on sales of £371m, according to its latest accounts. ECI Partners acquired Bargain Booze for £63.5m in January 2006. A Bargain Booze spokesman said the private-equity firm had appointed advisers to look at a range of options for the business, including a sale or refinancing.

KPMG declined to comment.