• Monday, May 20, 2024

Business

Fortress Investment Group acquires Poundstretcher

Aziz Tayub (L) with Malavi p resident Dr Lazarus Chakwera.

Pramod ThomasBy: Pramod Thomas

Fortress Investment Group LLC, along with its affiliates, on Thursday (11) announced the acquisition of Poundstretcher Limited, a prominent variety discount retailer with 322 stores nationwide. The acquisition comes following the retirement of outgoing owner Aziz Tayub.

Funds managed by affiliates of Fortress will entirely fund the acquisition, showcasing its commitment as a long-term private equity investor.

Poundstretcher, headquartered in Leicester, has a national footprint and a robust brand focussed on value, making it an appealing investment opportunity in a market where consumers increasingly prioritise affordability, a statement said.

Tayub said, “I am very pleased that the Fortress team will be providing the resources and investment needed to take Poundstretcher to its next stage of growth following my retirement. Fortress are well placed to work with the fantastic Poundstretcher team, who I’d like to thank for their hard work and dedication during the 18 years that we’ve grown the business together, and I look forward to watching and cheering their shared success in the years ahead.”

Following the acquisition, Andy Atkinson, former group commercial director at Morrisons, will assume the role of CEO at Poundstretcher, while Tristan Phillips will continue as chief financial officer.

Additionally, Trevor Strain, alongside representatives from Fortress, will join the board in a non-executive capacity.

Atkinson said, “Poundstretcher is an exciting business with huge potential, in a large, growing and resilient sector. We are committed to being long term stewards of the business, investing to grow Poundstretcher and build on the great work established by Aziz and his team.”

This acquisition adds Poundstretcher to Fortress’s existing UK investment portfolio, which includes Majestic Wine, UK’s largest specialist wine retailer.

Since its acquisition in 2019, Majestic Wine has expanded its workforce and opened new stores. Earlier this month, Majestic Wine acquired Vagabond Wines out of administration, adding nine wine bars and preserved 171 jobs.

Fortress also owns Punch Pubs Group, a leading independent pub company with 1,241 pubs across the UK, acquired in 2021.

“Poundstretcher is an exciting business in a critical part of the UK retail sector, and we recognise its importance to consumers across the country. Fortress believes in empowering management teams to deliver their strategy and we look forward to working with the team to invest in and grow Poundstretcher,” said Ahsan Aijaz, managing director and co-head of Private Equity at Fortress Investment Group.

Aziz Tayub and family were ranked 63 in the Asian Rich List with an estimated wealth of £245 million.

Aziz and Rashid Tayub’s entrepreneurial journey took flight in 1969, when they
opened a modest corner shop upon their arrival in the UK from Malawi, Africa.

This initial foray paved the way for their entry into the cash and carry business, catalysing exponential growth and the establishment of a thriving enterprise.

Their flagship company, Crown Crest Group, is a powerhouse in food distribution and property, forming the bedrock of their business empire.

The brothers made a pivotal move by acquiring the discount retailer Poundstretcher in 2009. Established in 1981, Poundstretcher later became a corner stone of the UK’s retail landscape.

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