The transaction, which will see managing director Chris Maddox and the rest of the retailer’s existing management remain at the helm, represents a second buyout of the business in as many years. Previously the company had been owned by funds advised by London-based Primary Capital and, although under this previous regime Maddox says that ‘[we have] begun to perform strongly’, the team at Hermes believe they can fuel further growth.
‘The Works has a proven value retail proposition in an attractive market segment,’ Justin Ward, director of Hermes’ private equity division comments. ‘[There are] attractive opportunities to improve performance and margins and we look forward to working with management to develop the business’ potential more fully.’
Founded in 1984 and based in Sutton Coldfield, The Works currently operates close to 230 stores across the UK, with each outlet selling a mix of cut-price books and artist supplies. Last year the company generated sales in excess of £90 million through its various branded retail outlets. Aside from The Works, other chains in the portfolio include the Banana Bookshop, Art Depot and Art Works.