Macintosh Retail Group has agreed to a management-led buyout of its Halfords subsidiary by Peter-Jan Stormmesand, the managing director of the Dutch chain of dealerships for bicycles and bike and automotive accessories. Macintosh will fund the acquisition with a capital base of about 30 percent, giving Halfords a strong financial starting position.
Stormmesand, who has served as managing director of Halfords Netherlands since March 2012, will assume full control of the company effective June 30. Macintosh said that its involvement will be financial only and will be phased out over the next few years.
A major player in the Dutch and Belgium markets, Halfords operates 136 stores in the Netherlands and two in Belgium, with a total staff of 696 employees. The arrangement will enable the struggling Halfords to pursue a restructuring plan launched in the second half of 2012, which aims to improve performance by rationalizing its retail network and cutting costs.
The Dutch Halfords has nothing to do with the British brand by the same name. A press release indicates that the Dutch company wants to strengthen its position by sharpening its unique retail format and by setting up a more commercially oriented organization.
Halfords' stores in the Netherlands are being redesigned. The product range is being expanded, adding the Peugeot brand. The web store is being turned into an ‘online mobility platform,' according to Bike Europe.
Halfords' results are already placed under discontinued operations in the income statement of Macintosh Retail Group and will keep this status through the first half of 2013. Macintosh said that the transaction will not affect its cash or net results. Further details will be released when the group's half-year figures are published, on July 25.
Macintosh Retail Group is a large-scale non-food retailer specializing in the off- and online distribution of consumer products in the fashion and living sector. The Maastricht-based group operates more than 1,000 stores in the Benelux and U.K. under various banners including Brantano and Scapino.
The financial details of the management buyout could not be learnt. The sale of Halfords had already been planned about two years ago, but took longer than expected because of the economic crisis. At that time, financial analysts were expecting an acquisition price of between €25 million and €30 million for Halfords, which had revenues of €105 million in 2010. Macintosh has already divested other non-core assets such as its telecommunication operations.