Poundland in the running to be sold by US buyout backers

 
Michael Bow
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US PRIVATE equity group Warburg Pincus is understood to be mulling plans to offload UK budget retailer Poundland for up to £600m, three years after it snapped up the firm.

Warburg Pincus, founded by Eric Warburg, scion of the Warburg banking family more than 40 years ago, snapped up the 410-store group in 2010 in a secondary buyout from fellow private equity outfit Advent International for £200m.

It is understood Warburg is eyeing an auction or possible trade sale for the company, with £600m as a guide price.

Poundland, which has about 14,000 staff, has so far defied the retail ravages of the high street, after making underlying operating profits of £40.1m for the 2011-12 period.

It hit £780m turnover last year and has laid ambitious plans to grow its stores from over 400 to 1,000 over ten years.