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    Fortress Investment Group acquires Poundstretcher

    (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

    Fortress Investment Group LLC (along with its affiliates, “Fortress”) today (11) announced that funds managed by affiliates of Fortress have agreed to acquire Poundstretcher Limited (‘Poundstretcher’), a leading variety discount retailer with 322 UK stores nationwide, following outgoing owner Aziz Tayub’s retirement.

    The acquisition by Fortress will be entirely funded by equity. Fortress is a long-term private equity investor, and believes Leicester-based Poundstretcher’s national footprint, strong brand and focus on value offers an attractive opportunity for investment and growth, as consumers continue to seek value for money. 

    Colleagues, customers and suppliers are integral to Poundstretcher’s proposition, and management plans to listen to and engage with all stakeholders following completion of the transaction. This will include building Poundstretcher’s supplier relationships in order to improve the shopping experience for customers. Fortress is also committed to investing in the business so it can better serve customer needs and help Poundstretcher to grow its offering and reach across the UK.

    Andy Atkinson, former Group Commercial Director at Morrisons, will join Poundstretcher as CEO. Tristan Phillips will resume his role as Chief Financial Officer. Alongside representatives from Fortress, Trevor Strain will join the board in a non-executive capacity.

    Poundstretcher adds to Fortress’s existing UK investment portfolio. This includes the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, Majestic Wine, where it has increased headcount and opened new stores since its purchase in 2019. Earlier this month, Majestic acquired Vagabond Wines out of administration, adding nine wine bars and saving 171 jobs. Fortress also owns Punch Pubs Group, a leading independent pub company with 1,241 pubs across the UK, which it acquired in 2021. 

    Ahsan Aijaz, Managing Director and Co-Head of Private Equity at Fortress Investment Group, said, “Poundstretcher is an exciting business in a critical part of the UK retail sector, and we recognise its importance to consumers across the country. We have long believed in the UK, and the consumer sector, as evidenced by our investments. We have a demonstrated history of investing in sponsored companies to drive growth, increase profitability and job creation—our  plans for Poundstretcher are no different. Fortress believes in empowering management teams to deliver their strategy and we look forward to working with the team to invest in and grow Poundstretcher.”

    Andy Atkinson, incoming CEO of Poundstretcher, said, “Poundstretcher is an exciting business with huge potential, in a large, growing and resilient sector. We are committed to being long term stewards of the business, investing to grow Poundstretcher and build on the great work established by Aziz and his team.”

    Aziz Tayub, outgoing owner of Poundstretcher said, “I am very pleased that the Fortress team will be providing the resources and investment needed to take Poundstretcher to its next stage of growth following my retirement. Fortress are well placed to work with the fantastic Poundstretcher team, who I’d like to thank for their hard work and dedication during the 18 years that we’ve grown the business together, and I look forward to watching and cheering their shared success in the years ahead.”

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