Bargain Booze business closes private tab and lists on AIM

The Alternative Investment Market's latest recruit is set to raise £64 million to eliminate debt and buy out its private equity backer ECI Partners.

Franchised off-licence chain Conviviality Retail is planning to fund its future growth by joining London’s junior exchange (AIM).

The business, which trades under the well-known high street brands Bargain Booze and Thouroughgoods, is hoping to raise £64 million on admission and secure a market capitalisation of £66.7 million.

Through its Bargain Booze and Thouroughgoods offerings, Conviviality has 611 stores and 451 franchisees. Its management team is led by Diana Hunter, who has previously held positions at Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

As part of the deal, Conviviality is eliminating debt it has accrued as well as buying out ECI Partner and other shareholders. Back in 2006, private equity firm ECI Partners acquired the Bargain Booze chain from retail business BWG through a £64 million management buy-out.

Hunter, CEO of Conviviality, comments, ‘We plan to take advantage of consumers focus on value. We are ideally placed for this with a strong brand, strong underlying growth prospects and a footprint and store format that can be expanded from our heartland in the North-West.

‘This together with the innovative share scheme for our franchisees which will align them, the company and its employees, and shareholders to drive further growth from an already strong and cash-generative business.’

More on recent AIM admissions:

According to a statement from the business, the admission to trading on AIM will further facilitate incentivising franchisees and employees and align their interests with those of the company through a share scheme which will allow franchisees to realise equity in the company.

For the year to date 30 April 2013, Conviviality reported revenues of £372 million and EBITDA of £12.5 million.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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