Truell sells 75% Thresher stake

15 June, 2007

Thresher bosses are hoping for a period of stability after being sold to two owners in as many weeks - but say they are open-minded about pursuing new strategies for the business.

Private equity firm Vision Capital has taken a 75 per cent stake in the Thresher Group, with a minority stake being retained by the Pension Insurance Corporation which did the original deal two weeks ago with former owner Terra Firma for an undisclosed sum.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside and his team say they are pleased to be under the ownership of a backer which sees potential in the retail business.

Edmund Truell's PIC business has taken control of an £85 million pension fund which is known to have deficits in the region of £21 million. The company has promised a £32 million cash injection to address these liabilities.

Vision chief executive Julian Mash said he believed Thresher had "potential for further growth" and said he was looking forward to working with the management team to achieve it.

Thresher chief executive Roger Whiteside described the deal as "very good news" and met the new owners on Monday for initial discussions about the business plan. He welcomed the chance to work with a committed owner. "At last we can quash any speculation they are going to flip us on to somebody else. That merry-go-round has now finished.

"They want to focus now on creating value for the shareholders. We've tried quite a few things. We're clear about things that work and don't work, and continue looking for other opportunities that might make a difference and create value. It's a question of getting behind those things and creating a new medium-term plan."

Comment, page 12; Analysis, page 15.

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