Iceland's founder grabs it back through £1.5bn management buyout

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The Independent Online

Malcolm Walker, the founder and chief executive of Iceland Foods, is set to regain control of the food retailing chain through a £1.5bn management buyout.

Mr Walker, his management team and the DFS furniture chain founder, Lord Kirkham, are part of the consortium which has agreed to buy Iceland from the liquidators of its owners, the failed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir.

Landmark, the Dubai-headquartered retail group, and Brait, the South African private-equity firm, are the other investors in a deal which would leave management with 43 per cent of the company,as well as board and operationalcontrol.

The three non-management investors would own the remainder of the group. Iceland's managing director, Andy Pritchard, will notparticipate in the dealand will retire.

Mr Walker founded the chain in 1970 with a single shop selling loose frozen food in Oswestry, Shropshire.

He fought off competition forIceland from the buyout firms Bain Capital and BC Partners.