HABITAT’S protracted sale finally took place yesterday, when parent company ICAF Antillen sold the furniture company to Hilco.
ICAF, acting on behalf of the Kamprad family, which also owns Ikea, sold Habitat Group to Retail Investments Limited, a specialist retail investments group led by Hilco.
There had been speculation that Hilco would divide Habitat and package it off for sale, rather than taking it over with the intention of running it as a going concern.
ICAF director Birger Lund moved to allay these fears, and insisted the management team will be retained.
He said: “We are pleased with this outcome and that the Habitat brand will continue and believe that the management team is well placed to take Habitat forward.”
Chief executive Mark Saunders, who arrived at the helm in April and reportedly tried to lead a buyout a month ago, will remain in his post.
When he arrived it was with a three-year plan, designed to save the business.
“We have been given significant committed funds and will now be able to rapidly progress the current business plan,” said Saunders.
The sale comes as a relief for the Kamprad family, which had been eager to have Habitat off next year’s balance sheet.
The company has not made a profit since the 2004-05 trading year.