Poundworld sold to US firm for £150m

Poundworld Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Poundworld is a family-owned business founded in 1974

Poundworld, the discount retailer, has been sold to US private equity firm TPG for £150m.

The UK's second-largest pound shop chain began as a Wakefield market stall set up by Christopher Edwards in 1974.

The family firm now has more than 280 outlets, as well as 50 Bargain Buys shops selling items at various prices.

The US acquisition will enable Poundworld - a rival to Poundland - to open new stores and invest in new distribution facilities.

Mr Edwards, 64, along with family members and other senior executives, will retain a minority stake in the retailer.

They stand to make millions from the sale.

Mr Edwards said: "I began this business as a market trader and we now have millions of customers from all corners of the nation and all walks of life. Still, there is so much more for us to achieve."

He had "very ambitious goals", he said.

Massive growth

Abel Halpern, a partner at TPG, said: "Poundworld has succeeded in building one of the leading positions in the market with a focus on consumer preference, convenience and value. The business is now well positioned for continued growth."

James Hughes, an analyst with eToro, said. "For a long time we've had the supermarkets all competing in a price war, trying to gain market share from each other - we've got no-one really looking at these real discount stores. And it's the growth of these discount stores ... which has been massive."

The Poundworld sale follows Poundland's £55m purchase of rival, 99p Stores, in February.

However, the Competition and Markets Authority said the Poundland-99p Stores merger could result in less choice for consumers.

Last week Poundland asked the watchdog to move to a full review.

The company said it "remained confident that the combination of the two businesses will provide better choice, value and service for 99p Stores' customers".

Unlike its rivals, Poundworld is the first single-priced UK retailer to offer online shopping.

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