Montagu Private Equity announces sale of Maplin Electronics to Rutland Partners for £85m

Montagu Private Equity announced today that it has reached agreement to sell Maplin Electronics to Rutland Partners for £85m.

Maplin is the UK’s leading specialist retailer of consumer electronics. During Montagu’s period of ownership the business has grown into a national brand and trades today from over 210 stores throughout the UK and Ireland.

The business is reported to be highly cash generative and has repaid all its debt and mezzanine facilities in full.

Montagu has worked closely with Maplin’s management team to develop the business, including growing and enhancing its store estate, building its on-line capability, significantly expanding its product range and continuing to invest in the brand.

Today Maplin generates over £220m in revenues, up from £100m when Montagu acquired the business. At the heart of its continued success remains outstanding customer service anchored in excellent product knowledge and customer advice, Montagu claims.

John Lovering, retiring chairman of Maplin, said: “Maplin has been a long term investment for Montagu. They managed the business carefully and prudently through the recession, maximising cash flow and emerging in a post-Lehman world as a deleveraged survivor.

“In the last three years market change has accelerated, Maplin has responded, invested in the future, and grown its business. Maplin has been repositioned as a source of expertise and service for those who want to use electronics in their life but need great technical help and advice.

“Current trading is strong with EBITDA back in growth and like for like sales showing high single digit growth.

“The team Montagu recruited, led by John Cleland, has done an excellent job. Personally, I think Maplin is on the threshold of a great period in its history. It is now time for a new shareholder to take the business forward, building on the strong foundations laid.

“We all wish the management and colleagues every continued success with their new backers.”

John Cleland, Maplin’s chief executive, said: “Working with the Montagu team over the last few years has been a very positive experience. They have been highly supportive of management’s plans to reposition Maplin for the future which has enabled us to deliver on our growth plans.

“The recent investment we have made in our shops, our new web platform, our exciting new product range and our people is really starting to pay off as we have enjoyed very strong like for like performance coming through in the first six months of 2014.

“I am excited about taking Maplin forward into the next chapter of its development.”