According to a post by Betaville, Blackstone weighs sale of Ideal World amid CEO departure and tough trading.
The world’s largest private equity firm has put Ideal World on the market after it’s investment in the home shopping television channel turned sour.
People familiar with the matter said US buy-out giant Blackstone has appointed advisers from Deloitte to quickly find a buyer for Ideal Shopping Direct, a home shopping group that sells its products on Sky, Freeview and Virgin Media.
Ideal Shopping Direct’s main channel is Ideal World.
The business has exploited the rapid growth of the “crafting” market, which focuses on people interested in embroidery, cake-decorating, knitting and card-making.
Insiders suggested Ideal Shopping Direct is likely to be sold for a lot less than what Blackstone paid for it three years ago as the company’s financial performance has deteriorated recently.
Blackstone bought Ideal Shopping Direct for £200 million in 2015 from Inflexion, a UK-based investment group.
One source said Ideal Shopping Direct could be sold for less than a £100 million, possibly in the “tens of millions”.
Companies House shows that Michael Hancox, 52, chief executive of Ideal Shopping Direct since 2008, was terminated as a director of the business on the 30 May 2018.
Several firms that specialise in “turnarounds” and “restructurings” as well as trade buyers are understood to be circling the business.
It’s not clear why Ideal Shopping Direct has had such a tough time recently but its difficulties come as several of Britain’s high street retailers endure torrid trading and “restructuring” processes, such as company voluntary agreements.
Ideal Shopping Direct used to be listed on the AIM market but Inflexion backed a take private by Mike Hancox in 2011 for £78.3 million following a string of profit warnings.
Blackstone and Ideal Shopping Direct both declined to comment.