Matalan boss uses FD for buyout

Matalan chairman John Hargreaves has called in Financial Dynamics to handle his personal PR as he bids to buy out the retailer's minority shareholders.

CEO Charles Watson said FD had been hired to raise Hargreaves' profile in the City and help him convince investors that he can revive Matalan's fortunes. Hargreaves is looking to increase his current stock holding of 53 per cent, and has teamed up with former Littlewoods CEO Alistair McGeorge.

The retailer that Hargreaves founded 21 years ago has seen profits slide since competitors such as Primark have adopted a similar business model. But Hargreaves is convinced he can reproduce the performance that led to its float ten years ago.

Last weekend, the business pages reported a £40m discrepancy between Hargreaves' valuation and that of Matalan's non-executive directors.

FD advised Tim Waterstone in his failed bid to reclaim ownership of the Waterstone's chain from HMV (PRWeek, 28 April).

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