B&M attracts private equity bids


The private equity firms Apax and BC Partners have submitted first-round bids for B&M Bargains, the discount retailer that is up for sale for £850m.

The brothers Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora want to sell a significant stake in B&M, which has 290 stores, and hired advisers at Rothschild to run a process in September. Apax and BC Partners are among a number of other private equity firms that lodged bids for the retailer this week.

The Arora brothers bought B&M in 2005, when it had fewer than 20 stores, and have grown the chain rapidly to turn it into a discount powerhouse that sells general merchandise, such as toys, food and drink. The retailer employs over 10,000 staff and attracts more than 2m customers a week.

B&M is on track to deliver underlying profits of £90m this financial year, on sales of more than £1bn.

Rothschild, Apax and BC Partners declined to comment.