B&M linked with Homebase stores acquisition

B&M, the fast-growing Liverpool-based discount chain, is reportedly in talks over a deal to buy a number of Homebase DIY stores.

The retailer, which floated on the stock exchange in June, has approached Home Retail Group about buying a chunk of the 80 Homebase stores that have been earmarked for closure over the next three years.

A deal has yet to be reached between the companies. Other retailers have also approached Home Retail about taking on some of the sites after the announcement of its streamlining plan last month, according to Sky News.

B&M, which is chaired by Sir Terry Leahy, the former Tesco chief executive, has been expanding rapidly amid growing demand. It has a strong presence in the North and has been targeting the south in recent months.

Next week, B&M will report its maiden interim results as a public company, and is likely to be questioned about whether the pace of its growth is sustainable. The company operates more than 400 stores in Britain as well as the JA Woll brand in Germany.

Last month, B&M appointed Karen Hubbard, a former Asda property executive, to lead its expansion strategy, which at present involves opening about 50 UK stores annually.

B&M and Home Retail Group declined to comment.