Iceland Foods has been acquired by founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker and other investors, in a deal valuing the British frozen foods retailer at £1.55 billion ($2.45 billion).
Under the terms of the deal, Malcolm Walker and the management team will together own 45 per cent of Iceland Foods and have operational and board control, while Dubai-based retailer Landmark Group, South African private equity firm Brait Capital, and Graham Kirkham, founder of sofa retail chain DFS Furniture, will own the remaining 57 per cent.
Walker, who founded the company in 1970, becomes chairman and CEO.
Andy Pritchard, the former managing director of Iceland Foods, who holds an 8.2-per cent stake, is retiring and will sell his stake to the consortium. Pritchard will walk away with £128 million from the deal.
Iceland Foods is being bought from the liquidators of collapsed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir, who collectively hold 76 per cent of the company. Both banks are contributing £250 million to the deal, but will not be taking a stake.
The acquisition is backed by a debt package comprising an £860-million loan provided by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Nomura Holdings and Royal Bank of Scotland.