Burnley retailer TOFS receives range of unsolicited offers

The private equity owner of Burnley’s The Original Factory Shop (TOFS) is contemplating a sale, after 15 years of ownership.

Duke Street has instructed Deloitte to scrutinise a range of unsolicited approaches for the retailer, according to Sky News.

It is believed Duke Street, which acquired the company for £68.5m from the private equity arm of Barclays in 2007, was considering putting the business on the market next year, but has brought forward potential divestment plans following the recent interest.

TOFS operates from around 180 stores throughout the UK, employing approximately 1,500 staff.

It was founded in 1969 and sells brands such as Adidas, Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo, L’Oreal and Under Armour at large discounts.

An industry analyst said TOFS was currently likely to be attractive to buyers with inflationary pressures driving consumers to value-driven retail offerings.

No value has been attached to any potential sale, yet.

The business underwent a company voluntary arrangement in 2018, and closed 30 stores as part of a restructuring process.

It enabled the retailer to reduce rents and put the business on a more sustainable financial footing.

A year earlier, TOFS chief executive, Tony Page, stepped down from his role after joining the company in 2013. He was replaced, on an interim basis, by former Matalan chief executive, Alistair McGeorge, who currently chairs the business.