Poundland owner plans sale or IPO

Poundland in Stoke-on-Trent

The parent company of Willenhall-based retailer Poundland is considering a float to end its troubled ownership by South African group Steinhoff.

Steinhoff bought Poundland for £610m in 2016, just two years after the retailer’s IPO. However the South African group was hit by a major accounting scandal which has made life extremely difficult as well as a parting of the ways inevitable.

Poundland is part of Pepkor Europe, which brings together Steinhoff’s European retail assets. The group has also rebranded as Pepco and now says it is financially independent from Steinhoff.

The £3bn-turnover Pepco could now go public or be sold.

Andy Bond, the former Asda chief executive who is running Pepco, has revealed plans to open around 300 stores in the next few years – however these will be in central and eastern Europe rather than adding to Poundland’s stores.

But the group is looking for bigger sites in the UK in some locations. More than one-third of its stores’ leases are up for renewal in the next three years and Poundland will take the opportunity to renegotiate terms or in some cases move so it can expand its clothing ranges.