Bargain Booze lures ECI Partners

Bargain Booze, the UK's second largest specialist off-licence chain with around 560 franchisee-run stores throughout the UK, has been acquired by private equity group ECI Partners for £63.5 million.

ECI is acquiring the business, which has a particularly strong presence in the North West, Cheshire and the West Midlands, from food distribution and retail business BWG – itself owned by rival private equity house Electra. Following the takeover the new owners hope to develop the chain’s franchise base still further and, with the incumbent management team remaining at the helm, expect to be able to ‘open a new store every week for the foreseeable future.’

‘We believe that the use of the franchise model gives Bargain Booze a sustainable advantage over its specialist competitors,’ reasons ECI managing director Tim Raffle. ‘The existing team has been very successful at growing the business and we’re backing them and the franchisees to continue this.’

The deal represents the latest development in what has been a busy start to the year for mid-market buyout business ECI. Just last week the group also revealed plans to sell vocational training business HCTC to London-listed VT Group in a £10 million transaction.

Leslie Copeland

Leslie Copeland

Leslie was made Editor for Growth Company Investor magazine in 2000, then headed up the launch of Business XL magazine, and then became Editorial Director in 2007 for the online and print publication portfolio...

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