Grange Moor-born businessman Malcolm Walker leads £1.45bn takeover of Iceland - which he founded 40 years ago

ICELAND frozen food boss Malcolm Walker is celebrating today after completing a £1.45bn takeover of the business he founded more than 40 years ago.

ICELAND frozen food boss Malcolm Walker is celebrating today after completing a £1.45bn takeover of the business he founded more than 40 years ago.

The Grange Moor-born businessman said he was utterly delighted” to conclude the deal, just weeks after entering exclusive takeover talks to buy the high street retailer from the liquidators of failed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitner.

Mr Walker becomes chairman and chief executive of Iceland Foods Group Ltd, which has stores at Aspley and Trinity Street in Huddersfield and almost 800 outlets UK-wide.

A senior management team led by Mr Walker has been backed in the takeover by co-investors including DFS furniture chain founder Lord Kirkham in acquiring the liquidators’ 77% stake in Iceland.

The Iceland senior management team will together own 43% of the equity in Iceland and will have operational and board control. The three new equity co-investors will own the remaining 57%.

Mr Walker said: “I am utterly delighted that we have been able to conclude a deal that ensures a secure, independent future for this great British company.

“I know that this will be warmly welcomed by our 23,000 staff, whose responses to the recent Best Companies survey gave us the supreme accolade of Best Big Company to Work For in the UK in 2012.

“It is also great news for our suppliers and our 5m customers.”

He said: “Our new equity partners in the business are like-minded entrepreneurs who share our belief in doing the right thing.”

 
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