MBO of Stead & Simpson


Bank of Scotland Corporate today announced that it has provided an integrated finance package totalling £51.4 million to fund the buy-out of Stead & Simpson, the UK’s third-largest specialist shoe retailer, by its management.

Bank of Scotland will itself be taking a minority stake in the business alongside the firm’s management team.

David Lockyer, the Chief Executive and Peter Foot, the Finance Director will both remain at Stead & Simpson and have reinvested a significant percentage of the sale proceeds back into the company.

Barry Stevenson, a former director of Marks & Spencer and B&Q, joins the board on completion of the MBO as Chairman. The transaction delivers a complete exit for the retiring Chairman, John Shannon, and Development Securities PLC.

The MBO follows a strategic review by Clearwater Corporate Finance to explore exit options for shareholders and to secure funding for the group’s planned expansion.

Stead & Simpson generates annual turnover in excess of £140 million. It trades from over 400 stores under the Stead & Simpson, Shoe Express, Lilley & Skinner, Famous Footwear and Peter Briggs fascias. Headquartered at Syston near Leicester, it employs 3,700 staff.

Iain Pirrie, Director of Integrated Finance at Bank of Scotland, commented: “Stead & Simpson is an excellent retail business which has outperformed in a challenging retail market. We look forward to working with the existing management to continue to build their business.”

Barry Stevenson, Chairman, Stead & Simpson commented: “I have been impressed with the retail turnaround that the management team have effected since they took over the business. An excellent set of foundations have been constructed and I am excited about working with the team to take the business forward to achieve its undoubted potential.”

David Lockyer, Chief Executive of Stead & Simpson, commented: “We are delighted to have Bank of Scotland as our new partner. We continue to outperform the market and I look forward to expanding the business with the significant backing of the Bank of Scotland.”

Phil Burns, Partner at Clearwater Corporate Finance, added: “Having seen management turn Stead & Simpson around since the late 90’s, we are delighted to have helped them achieve what we hope will prove to be a very successful MBO. The business has some outstanding prospects for growth across its varied store formats.”

Clearwater Corporate Finance advised the vendors on the sale and introduced Bank of Scotland to the management team. Clearwater’s team comprised Phil Burns, Gareth Iley, Katie Wood and Louise Wetherhill. The vendors were also advised by Gateley Wareing LLP.

Bank of Scotland Integrated & Acquisition Finance were advised by DLA Piper Rudnick Cray Gary with Deloitte and PriceWaterhouseCoopers providing due diligence. Management were advised by Catalyst Corporate Finance LLP.