As the deadline for submitting bids approaches, several potential bidders are emerging for the acquisition of Matalan, a prominent UK-based fashion and lifestyle retailer. Among these interested parties is OpCapita, led by Henry Jackson, the former owner of the now-defunct Comet electricals chain. While OpCapita has not officially commented on the matter, it is expected to present an indicative proposal.

Other potential bidders include investment firms Alteri, which is supported by Apollo Global Management, and John Hargreaves, the founder of Matalan. John Hargreaves is anticipated to receive backing from activist investor Elliott Advisors. Frasers Group is also reportedly preparing an offer for Matalan.

The urgency to find a buyer for Matalan arises from the company’s imminent deadline next year to refinance £350 million in debt. Although this deadline has been extended, it is crucial for Matalan to reinforce its financial position in light of challenging market conditions. To this end, the company secured a £60 million loan from Bantry Bay, in which Elliott Advisors holds a stake. Matalan acknowledges that the successful refinancing of its debts depends on external factors such as geopolitical, economic, and market conditions.

John Hargreaves briefly returned as Matalan’s chairman but stepped down to participate in the bidding process. Throughout this process, the Hargreaves family is receiving advisory services from Lazard, while Teneo is handling the sale and Perella Weinberg Partners is advising the company’s senior lenders.

With the bid deadline on the horizon, the question remains as to which bidder will emerge victorious in the race to acquire Matalan. As a well-established player in the UK’s fashion and lifestyle retail industry, Matalan’s future hangs in the balance, awaiting a new owner who will navigate the challenges that the industry presents and guide the company towards success. Ultimately, only time will reveal the outcome and the path Matalan will take under its new leadership.

For more information on the potential acquisition of Matalan, you can visit the following links:

1. Matalan Official Website
2. Financial Times Article: Matalan’s Acquisition Prospects