ECI could reap 3x return from Bargain Booze IPO


beer-pub-pint_sqUK private equity house ECI stands to make about three times its investment in cut-price off-licence chain Bargain Booze in its upcoming IPO.

The firm backed a management buyout of Bargain Booze from mid-market buyout firm Electra Partners for £63.5m in January 2006.

Electra had spun the company out from Irish and UK wholesale distribution business BWG four years earlier.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail expects to raise up to £60m through the listing according to the FT, which spoke to company chief executive Diana Hunter.

She said that despite a “tough year” in 2012 which saw revenues drop to £372m from £395m, the company was confident of expanding its northern England-based business into the south east as cash-strapped UK shoppers continue to strive for cheaper goods.

ECI attempted to sell the group for £100m last year, hiring KPMG to carry out a strategic review of the business.

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