Warren Stephens Bets on Britain's Bathstore

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jul. 28, 2014 12:00 am  

Warren Stephens, whose wealth Forbes put at $2.6 billion as of Thursday and who appears on our Power List, made a splash earlier this month in the United Kingdom with his backing of a management buyout of Bathstore.

Stephens, through a family trust, partnered with a team led by Gary Favell, CEO of Bathstore, which calls itself the largest bathroom retailer in the U.K.

The investment group bought Bathstore from Endless, a turnaround investor that had owned the company for the last two years. Bathstore has 172 stores in the U.K. and was described as a £100 million business. (That’s about $170 million American.)

Endless paid £15 million for the company two years ago and, according to the Telegraph, then invested another $11 million. While it wasn’t known how much Favell, Stephens and team had paid for Bathstore, “it is understood that Endless made a fivefold return,” the Telegraph reported.

Favell told Britain’s Retail Week why he chose to work with Stephens:

“They were the guys that backed Walmart at the beginning. To get a huge corporation like that from America coming to a turnaround like Bathstore is fantastic. They started out in the depression era, they invest where there is potential and there’s huge potential in the UK.”



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