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Iceland Foods bought back by founder


Deal values the firm at £1.55 billion

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The founder and chief executive of Iceland Foods has bought the company back in a deal valuing the firm at £1.55 billion.

Malcolm Walker is buying out the 77 percent stake from the liquidators of failed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir, backed by a £860 million debt package, the company said on Friday.

Walker and other managers will own a 43 percent stake of Iceland's equity, while new co-investors Lord Kirkham - the founder of sofa retailer DFS - Brait and Dubai-based Landmark Group will own the rest.

South African investment firm Brait said that its £80 million stake amounted to 19 percent.

Walker founded the chain with £60 of capital in 1970. Friday's deal gives the business an enterprise value of £1.45 billion and an equity value of £1.55 billion.

The buyout debt package is being funded by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Nomura and RBS.

The two Icelandic banks are providing a £250 million note. This helped Walker, who has been in exclusive talks, edge out private equity interest.

Details of the deal and funding were largely in line with reports that have surfaced in recent weeks.

Iceland operates 800 stores in the UK and had sales of £2.4 billion in the year to March 2011.

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Iceland Foods bought back by founder
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