Matalan gets a 1.5bn price tag

MATALAN, the discount out-of-town retailer, has held several talks with its advisers in recent weeks about the potential sale of the business.<br /><br />While a sale is not imminent, observers believe that the business could fetch around &pound;1.5bn.<br /><br />Matalan was taken private three years ago by its founder John Hargreaves in a &pound;827m deal, backed by &pound;410m.&nbsp; <br /><br />The retailer said it had lifted earnings by 6.3 per cent to &pound;145.1m in the 12 months to 28 February as cash- strapped shoppers were tempted by cut price clothing.