THE founder of budget retailer Matalan is to pay himself a £250 million dividend after refinancing the firm.
John Hargreaves, who took the chain private in 2006, has secured a £525m funding package from investors after abandoning attempts to sell the 200-store chain earlier this year.
Matalan, which has a store on the Ringway industrial estate in Huddersfield, said the proceeds of the deal would back its growth strategy as well as finance a payout to Mr Hargreaves.
The bumper dividend is thought to be among the biggest for a British retail company – but it still does not come close to the £1.2bn pocketed by Topshop owner Sir Philip Green in 2005.
In a statement Matalan said: “The proceeds of the capital raise will be used to refinance the company’s existing debt facilities and to finance a distribution to shareholders.”
Mr Hargreaves is the firm’s only shareholder.
Matalan chief executive Alistair McGeorge said strong demand from investors for the capital raising was “encouraging given the current state of the debt markets”.
“Following three years of improved trading and results, which has been accompanied by a rapid pay down of debt, we are pleased to have completed a refinancing which will underpin our growth for many years to come as we execute our growth strategy as an independent company,” he said.
Matalan has announced plans for a major expansion programme, with 100 new stores