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‘We’ll select the most appropriate partner’ says Dreams boss

dreams2Nick Worthington says the for sale bed chain is in a position to pick it’s next owner while it concentrates on retailing.

‘While 2012 was a challenging year in retail, Dreams is now benefitting from a number of initiatives we put in place, enabling us to grow market share. Looking ahead, we continue to have constructive discussions with our stakeholders and we continue to focus on providing financial stability for the future of the business. The strength of the Dreams brand and its market position has attracted considerable interest from many parties,’ says the Dreams chief executive.

‘As a result we have decided to run a formal process to select the most appropriate partner who can help Dreams build on our current performance to realise its future potential.’ The sale process is being run by Ernst & Young.

‘Whilst the economic environment remains unquestionably challenging, we remain vigilant in the management of our costs, cash and margin, and continue to enhance our customer proposition. As such, we are confident of maintaining our strong performance in the year ahead.’

His comments came after it saw an 8% sales rise in December and a 7.2% rise in like-for-like sales over the Christmas period, described as its’ strongest performance for the period.

While no information was available on margin, like-for like sales edged up 1% for 2012 and by 2% in total.

Owner Exponent decided not to give it a fresh injection of capital last year prompting its lenders to put it up for sale, The Sunday Times recently reported, as they had concerns about its debts.

Former owner Mike Clare has said he’d like to buy the chain, with media reports linking him to a bid with Lord Kirkham, DFS founder and Lord Harris, Carpetright founder and chairman, although how any involvement of Harris and Carpetright’s attempts to grow its bed sales could be easily squared remains unclear without the flooring chain and Dreams combining buying to protect margins.