Business

Theo Paphitis buys Robert Dyas

Theo Paphitis
Image caption Theo Paphitis already owns lingerie chain Boux Avenue and is chairman of stationery retailer Ryman

Theo Paphitis has bought the electrical and hardware retailer Robert Dyas in a deal thought to be worth about £10m.

The Dragon's Den star revealed the news on Twitter and it was later confirmed by the retailer.

"First to hear it on tweeter! pleased to say just bought the retail business Robert Dyas! I am in the ironmongery business!" Mr Paphitis tweeted.

Robert Dyas was bought by its senior management in 2009 amid fears that it could fall into administration.

Since the restructuring of the business, its majority shareholders have been Allied Irish Banks and Lloyds Banking Group, who had hired advisers Cavendish Corporate Finance to carry out a "full exit review" of the business.

Originally established as an ironmonger 140 years ago, Robert Dyas now has 97 stores in the UK and employs more than 1,000 staff.

"I am delighted that the business has attracted an entrepreneur of Theo's stature: his track record for growing retail businesses is second to none," said outgoing chairman Geoff Brady.

"The sales process attracted a great deal of interest from potential buyers, both from the UK and overseas, but I believe this transaction provides significant benefits both to the Robert Dyas team and to our customers."

Mr Paphitis, whose other retail interests include the Ryman stationery chain and Boux Avenue lingerie retailer, bought Robert Dyas through his company Gladys Emmanuel Limited.

He will join as chairman. Current chief executive Graham Coles will stay in his position. Ryman chief executive Kypros Kyprianou will join the board as a director.

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