Card Factory poised for a sell off

Mon, 29 Apr 2013 | BUSINESS SALE

Discount card retailer Card Factory is being prepared for a sell off to the tune of £600 million, the Sunday Times reported.

Its private equity owner Chapterhouse has hired Goldman Sachs to sound out interest from other private equity buyers, for the 650-store business.

Married pair Dean and Janet Hoyle set the business up in 1997 in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, by selling wares from the back of a van. Mr Hoyle is the owner of Huddersfield Town football club.

The pair pocketed £350 million when they sold the business to Chapterhouse three years ago.

Card Factory has done well in the recession, selling its discounted cards to cash-strapped customers, while its rivals, such as Clinton Cards, have floundered.

The retailer recorded a turnover of £265 million with £64 million in earnings for the year ending January 2012. At the time it had 611 stores with “significant further roll-out potential". Its chief executive Richard Hayes added in the accounts that the business had remained strong due to a low average spend, despite rising online competition.

Speaking to Insider Media back in November, Dean Hoyle attributed the success of the business to staying “very much below the radar” and being quiet about its profits amongst rivals. “I always have this fear that those who shout the loudest fall the hardest,” he said.

The firm overcame adversity in 2005 when faced with increasing costs from suppliers by establishing a working relationship with a design company and beginning to make its own cards. “That was the making of Card Factory,” Hoyle said.

Related news:
Clinton Cards sale deadline approaching
Card Factory sold to Charterhouse

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