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Pepco Faces 'Almost Inevitable' Sale By Steinhoff, Says Bond

The boss of Pepco Group, the owner of British discount retailer Poundland, said it was "almost inevitable" the group would be sold by its South African parent Steinhoff.

Steinhoff, which has been battling the fallout from a 2017 accounting scandal, said last year it was evaluating a range of strategic options for Pepco Group, including a potential public listing.

Earlier this week, Sky News reported that three private equity firms - Advent International, Hellman & Friedman and Mid Europa Partners - had teamed up for a possible bid for Pepco that could value it at more than 4.5 billion euros.

"The restructuring arrangement that Steinhoff has with its creditors means it's almost inevitable we'll be sold," According to Pepco Group CEO Andy Bond.

He said he was "genuinely open minded" on the various disposal options - a private equity sale, initial public offering, or trade sale to an industry peer - and added that it was "early days" in the process.

Bond, a former boss of supermarket group Asda, said if Pepco did get new owners, he wanted to stay on.

"I've helped build this business. It's a great business and I will want to continue to deliver our ambition to be Europe's biggest discount variety business," he said.

Pepco Brand Growth

Pepco Group, which also owns the PEPCO and Dealz brands in Europe, reported a jump in revenue in the Christmas quarter and forecast more growth in the rest of its 2019-20 financial year.

Revenue in its fiscal first quarter to the end of December rose 13.3% to 1.143 billion euros, reflecting a 14.8% increase in stores to 2,809, along with a rise in like-for-like revenue of 3.9%.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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