“Retailer has done a decent job of carving out a High Street niche,” comments analyst on success of firm

Maplin sale ‘wouldn’t affect’ brand

Experts believe High Street electronics retailer Maplin wouldn’t drastically change under new ownership.

The retailer could be sold for between £200 million and £500 million, with PwC said to be leading the sale.

“There’s clearly a lot of interest in the business and the private equity owners are likely to be encouraged by the robust valuations being placed on other retailers either changing hands or coming to market,” Kantar Retail’s director of retail insights Bryan Roberts told PCR.

“I’m not sure the brand will change too much, as it has done a decent job of carving out a High Street niche and establishing pretty decent multichannel credentials.”

Retail expert Clare Rayner added: “If you look back a few years into the grocery sector there was massive consolidation, everybody was buying everybody else and we’ve ended up with the big four. In the non-food sector, we’re still somewhat split – there’s lots of different brand names out there. So there is consolidation happening in the mid to large end of the scale, and that really isn’t too surprising, because everyone’s looking for the efficiency to offer best price and be competitive.”

Roberts said recent movements in the tech retail sector – including talk of a possible Dixons Retail/Carphone Warehouse merger – was a sign of a healthy market.

“There seems to be a lot more optimism around retail at the moment, and that’s being reflected in the hefty corporate activity in the sector in 2014,” he added.

Montagu has owned Maplin since 2004. It first tried to sell the retailer in 2011, appointing KPMG to lead the process.

A PwC spokesperson declined to comment.

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