Warburg Pincus takes stake in Amber

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The Independent Online
WARBURG, PINCUS, the US corporate finance house, has bought 10 per cent of Amber Day and is considering backing a share issue by the group to help it speed up its store opening programme.

The shares were bought in the stock market and no one at Warburg, Pincus was available to comment on the price paid or the seller. HSBC Holdings has a 15.5 per cent stake and Mercury Asset Management is believed to have bought most of the 8.1 per cent owned by Philip Green, the former chairman, but neither would comment on whether they had sold.

Amber Day said Warburg, Pincus had indicated it was a long-term investor and wished 'to play a prominent role in supporting the group's strategy to become the premier force in discount retailing in the UK'.

The news of the share purchase came as the group announced that David Thompson was to take over as chief executive of Amber Day, while Peter Carr, a non-executive director since March, had become executive chairman. But Stacey Ellis, who has chaired the group since December, has resigned.

Mr Thompson was finance director, although he had been acting chief executive since Mr Green resigned. Mr Thompson dismissed recent speculation that the board was split about his appointment, or that Mr Ellis was against his promotion. The board concluded that his appointment was the best solution.

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