Iceland founder Sir Malcolm Walker buys out South African partner for £115m

9 June 2020, 11:14

Sir Malcolm Walker
Founder buys Iceland. Picture: PA

Brait bought its first stake in the frozen food supermarket chain in 2012.

Food store Iceland is back in British hands after founder Sir Malcolm Walker bought out his South African partners.

Sir Malcolm teamed up with with chief executive Tarsem Dhaliwal to snap up Brait’s shares in the company.

The duo will pay £115 million for the 63% stake, bringing Iceland totally under their control.

“It is particularly satisfying to turn this new page in Iceland’s history just before the 50th anniversary of the opening of our first shop on November 18 1970,” Sir Malcolm said.

“Having started the business in partnership with a friend, I am delighted to have come full circle and own what are now more than 1,000 stores with another good friend in 2020.”

It takes the frozen food supermarket back into British hands eight years after the South African firm first bought into the company.

The move had been on the cards since November last year, when Brait signalled a new strategy that led to the eventual sale.

But Sir Malcolm and Mr Dhaliwal have long been keen to buy their partner’s stake.

Mr Dhaliwal said: “We are grateful to Brait for giving us this opportunity to take full ownership of Iceland.

“We have always been a genuine family business and it is not just Sir Malcolm and I but many of our colleagues who have children working for the company.

“We are totally committed to running and growing this business for the long-term benefit of all our stakeholders and their families.”

Sir Malcolm paid tribute to Brait as they parted.

“Over the last half century we have had a series of external investors in our business but I have no hesitation in saying that Brait has been the best,” he said.

“They have been consistently understanding and supportive, and were friends as well as business partners.

“I am sure that friendship will endure and Tarsem and I wish them every success in the future.”

By Press Association

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