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Alba shareholders approve sale of leisure division

Published: 1 September 2007
Alba shareholders have approved the sale of the leisure division's brands to private equity partnership Rutland Partners.
The deal, completed on August 22, will allow Alba to move ahead with a turnaround programme to reduce debt and let it concentrate on consumer electronics products.

Alba has already cut its workforce, and product range.

The £51.5m deal sees Rutland purchase an 80% stake in Manchester-based Pulse Home Products; the remaining 20% is taken up by a management buy-out involving ceo, David Allen who has been with the business since 1993.

Pulse is an electrical goods supplier of hair-dryers, toasters, vacuum cleaners and other domestic appliances under the Nicky Clarke, Bush, Breville, Dirt Devil, Power Devil, JCB and Hinari brands.

Following its acquisition by Alba in 2001, Pulse's operations were integrated into the activities of Alba.

Rutland said in a statement that arrangements have been agreed between the parties to make Pulse a 'truly stand-alone business'.

Excited

The management of Pulse, led by David Allen said they are excited by the potential the acquisition brings.

Mr Allen said: "We are looking forward to working with Rutland who we see as an ideal funder for this type of situation and, undoubtedly, will be a valuable contributor to the future plans for the business."

Plans have been made for additional resources to help grow the brands, and to fund licensing deals in similar markets.

Rutland is investing approximately £25 million from a fund, Rutland Fund II, to support the acquisition with the balance of the funding coming from CIT Capital Finance (UK) Limited.

Mr Allen added he wants the company to achieve double digit growth over the next few years and is confident of hitting £150m turnover within three years.

Pulse is estimated currently to be generating earnings of approximately £9.4 million on sales of £118 million.

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