// Iceland bosses take full control of the retailer after buying out the remaining stake
// They bought out South African conglomerate Brait SE’s 63% stake in the business for £115m
Iceland founder Malcolm Walker and chief executive Tarsem Dhaliwal have taken full ownership of the retailer after buying out the remaining stake from external investor Brait.
The executives bought out the South African conglomerate’s 63 per cent stake in the frozen food specialist for £115 million to form a newly-established company Iceland Foods.
The sale will be made in three tranches, with the first £60 million being paid today to Brait and the remaining instalments of £26.9 million and £28.1 million due to be paid in July 2021 and 2022 respectively.
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Brait first undertook a management buyout of Iceland in 2012 with the backing of Walker, Lord Kirkham and the Landmark Group.
The investor, which also has a stake in New Look, increased its stake to 57 per cent in Iceland in October 2015.
“It is particularly satisfying to turn this new page in Iceland’s history just before the 50th anniversary of the opening of our first shop on November 18, 1970,” Walker said.
“Having started the business in partnership with a friend, I am delighted to have come full circle and own what are now more than 1000 stores with another good friend in 2020.
“Over the last half-century, we have had a series of external investors in our business, but I have no hesitation in saying that Brait has been the best.
“They have been consistently understanding and supportive and were friends as well as business partners.
“I am sure that friendship will endure and Tarsem and I wish them every success in the future.”
Dhaliwal said: “We are grateful to Brait for giving us this opportunity to take full ownership of Iceland. We have always been a genuine family business and it is not just Sir Malcolm and I but many of our colleagues who have children working for the company.”
“We are totally committed to running and growing this business for the long term benefit of all our stakeholders and their families.”