South Yorkshire electronics retailer Maplin sold for £85m

John Cleland
John Cleland
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Rotherham-based high street electronics retailer Maplin has been sold for £85m

The firm, which has 210 shops and 2,500 staff across the country, was snapped up by private equity firm Rutland Partners.

It was sold by private equity firm Montagu, which has made substantial losses after it paid £224m for the outfit in 2004.

Maplin, which is headquartered in Manvers, Wath, was established in 1972 as a small mail order business.

A new management team was introduced in 2012, led by chief executive John Cleland to fundamentally reposition the business. Stores were made more shopper friendly and a new website was launched.

Rutland says it ‘focuses on special situations where, through change, restructuring and investment, it can help improve businesses’.

Nick Morrill, of Rutland, said they were backing John Cleland and the incumbent management team.

He added:“We are delighted to be able to invest in Maplin and recognise the great progress made by management so far in the recovery of the business but more importantly the potential still to be unlocked.

“We believe our history and the focus of our investment strategy differentiates us in the private equity market. It makes us a powerful and supportive investment partner, able to make a real difference to the success of Maplin and we are excited by the challenge in front of us all.”

John Cleland said: “Our strategic plans for Maplin represent substantial growth in sales and profit, continuing on the journey already mapped out that focuses on improved customer experience in all key channels, substantially broadening our range of products and innovation, and investing in our ability to offer the best electronics and technical advice to our customers. The management look forward to working closely with Rutland Partners in the future; they bring a wealth of strategic and operational experience which Maplin will benefit from as they support us in our plans to take the business forward”.

Rutland’s investment was supported by specialist acquisition finance provider, Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance.