Carpetright joins the queue as its thoughts turn to a Dreams bid
The floor coverings retailer Carpetright has become the latest suitor to express an interest in Dreams, the troubled beds chain that is up for sale.
Carpetright, whose founder and chairman is Lord Harris, has asked to see the sales memorandum on debt-laden Dreams from Ernst & Young, the accountancy firm handling the auction.
Royal Bank of Scotland, the retailer's main lender, put the 270-store chain up for sale before Christmas and Ernst & Young has received more than 20 expressions of interest ahead of first-round bids in early February.
Carpetright, which also sells beds, is looking at Dreams' best stores. Sources have suggested a full-blown takeover bid is unlikely.
Dreams, which also manufactures beds in the West Midlands, has a leading 23 per cent share of the beds market, also populated by Argos, Ikea, John Lewis, Bensons for Beds and hordes of small independents.
Mike Clare, the retailer's founder, sold Dreams, pictured, to the private-equity firm Exponent for £222m in 2008. Since then it has struggled with its debt burden of £40m and the consumer downturn, although it saw a 7 per cent rise in sales over Christmas.
Mr Clare, who is being advised by the restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper, is plotting to buy back Dreams. He is speaking to unknown private-equity houses about providing funding.
Other suitors for Dreams include Sun European Partners, Steinhoff International, the owner of Harveys and Bensons for Beds, and the beds firm Silentnight, which is backed by HIG Europe. Steinhoff would probably be limited to buying about 50 stores on competition grounds.
Some industry experts reckon Dreams may have to be radically restructured to have fewer stores and less debt. However, other sources believe this may not be necessary, citing the damaging impact this would have on its relationship with suppliers.
Perhaps more significantly, it also relies heavily on customers paying deposits on beds, which can take up to five weeks for delivery, so a restructuring could drive shoppers away.
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...
£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...