Stead & Simpson in management buyout

British shoes chain Stead & Simpson has been bought out by its management in a deal valued at £51.4 million. The transaction, which was funded by the Bank of Scotland and led by chief executive David Lockyer and finance director Peter Foot, involved the buyout of investor Development Securities Plc, a London building firm which bought into the firm in the 1980s. It sold its 39 percent stake for £13 million, and received a loan repayment of £2 million.

The 400-strong chain, which is one of the oldest firms in Britain, is contemplating either a sale or a flotation on the stock exchange. Stead & Simpson sells shoes under its own brand name in addition to offering labels like Hush Puppies, Dr Martens, Clarks, Ecco and Wrangler. Annual sales are in excess of £140 million. Chairman John Shannon will sell his stake worth £10 million upon retiring, while Lockyer and Foot are believed to have reinvested the majority of the sale proceeds. Barry Stevenson, a former director at Marks & Spencer will replace Shannon.

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