Omni-channel retailer Matalan announced yesterday (22 December) that since it went up for sale on 26 September, it had received bids from a number of interested parties.

It said in an official statement: “The company is currently assessing all the bids and constructive discussions are continuing with interested parties and their advisers.”

Matalan also explained that in addition, the ad hoc group of existing First Lien Noteholders (the ‘AHG’) represented by Invesco, Man GLG, Napier Park and Tresidor, which now holds over 70% of the First Lien Secured Notes, has reconfirmed its commitment to a recapitalisation if necessary.

At the time of Matalan going up for sale, its founder and chairman, John Hargreaves, announced his intention to step down in order to take part in the sales process as a bidder.

He said: “Matalan is a business that has been in my DNA since the day I founded it in 1985. I am stepping down as chairman so that I can participate in the strategic sales process as a bidder. My focus and absolute commitment will remain to do what I believe is in the best interests of the company and all its stakeholders, in particular the 11,000 people we employ. My intention is to be instrumental in positioning the business for long-term success.”

According to The Sunday Times, Hargreaves remains in the running and has teamed up with private equity firm Elliott Advisers for a 50-50 bid, however Matalan’s senior lenders and Alteri and OpCapita are also thought to have finalised their bids for the retailer.

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Matalan declined to share the names of those who have supplied bids, however it said: “The company is looking to complete the sales process prior to the end of January 2023 and will provide a comprehensive update to the market at such time.”

Matalan added: “All transactions under consideration provide for a material reduction of Matalan’s debt including the First Lien Secured debt, an extended debt maturity profile and any new funding that may be required.”

Matalan remains confident that the stable and sustainable balance sheet will put the company in a position of financial strength, allowing it to execute on its business plan and deliver its growth strategy and added: “The outcome of the sales process will not impact the continued operations of the business or our colleagues, suppliers or other partners.”