Agilo buys struggling retailer

London-based fund Agilo, which specialises in ‘distressed assets and special situations’ has bought a loss-making bedding and home furnishings retailer.

The fund added Yorkshire-based Ponden Mills to its portfolio for an undisclosed sum.

The acquired company and its parent, Marston Mills, was sold by Lancashire-based entrepreneur Trevor Hemmings. Hemmings, who owns Blackpool Tower, sold the business less than three years after buying it.

Reports claim Ponden has struggled due to supermarkets moving into the homewares market.

Agilo, whose advisory board includes former Tory cabinet minister Michael Portillo, has teamed up with retail turnaround specialist Hilco in a bid to revive Ponden Mill’s fortunes. Hilco’s previous projects include DIY chain Focus and department store Allders.

One of Agilo’s founders, Jason Granite, told reporters at the Manchester Evening News: ‘I can confirm we have bought the business, but it is our policy to do what we do confidentially. We don’t discuss our strategy.’

The retailer employs more than 1,400 staff in some 250 stores, including outlets in Ashton-under-Lyne, Hyde, Bolton, Warrington, Macclesfield, Buxton, Chorley, Northwich and Burnley.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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