Deal believed to be close for bedding manufacturer

Accrington-based Bensons for Beds is set to be bought back in a pre-pack deal by its current owner, Sky News is reporting.

It claims the deal is close to a conclusion following the appointment of PwC as administrator.

However, the fate of the Harveys furniture chain is in doubt, unless a buyer can be found.

The deal could save around 1,900 jobs, but leave up to 1,000 others in jeopardy.

Alteri Investors, a specialist backer of troubled retailers, owns both businesses.

It was reported earlier this month that it was proposing a restructuring deal that could lead to the liquidation of Harveys, but would save the Bensons for Beds retail chain.

Between 150 and 175 of the Bensons stores are expected to remain open, meaning around 50 stores face closure.

Sky claims Alteri will inject £25m into the bedding company to invest in technology, and that all customer orders with Bensons and Harveys would be fulfilled.

Both businesses were acquired by Alteri last year.

The firm struck a deal in November to acquire Blue Group Hold Co Ltd, the owner of Bensons for Beds, Harveys Furniture and upholstery and bedding manufacturers Relyon, Steinhoff UK Beds and Formation Furniture, from Steinhoff International Holdings.

Alteri Investors founder and chief executive, Gavin George, said at the time of the acquisition: “This is exactly the type of investment opportunity our second fund was launched to find – trusted retail brands with strong management and the potential for profitable growth.”

Blue Group had been under the ownership of Steinhoff International since 2005.

Between them, Harveys and Bensons for Beds trade from 269 stores across the UK and employ around 2,700 staff.

Bensons for Beds was founded in the 1950s and is the largest bed retailer in the UK by store number and the third-largest by revenue.

Harveys, founded in 1966, is a nationally recognised brand and the largest furniture specialist in the UK by store number.