LONDON, March 6 British beds retailer Dreams has
been sold to private equity firm Sun Capital Partners,
safeguarding over 1,600 jobs but leaving 400 more at risk.
Administrators for the beds and furniture firm, Ernst &
Young, said on Wednesday it had sold the struggling company's
business and assets for an undisclosed sum, securing it new
investment and allowing it to operate outside of insolvency.
The sale sees Sun Capital Partners buy 171 of Dreams' 266
stores, as well as its head office and two manufacturing sites,
safeguarding around 1,600 of the firm's 2,000 jobs.
The remaining stores not included in the sale will stay open
for business while administrators seek buyers for them.
Private equity firm Exponent acquired Dreams from its
founder Mike Clare in 2008 in a deal worth over 200 million
pounds. Since late last year Clare had tried to repurchase
Dreams in a rescue deal but was unsuccessful.
Britain's high street retailers have struggled as austerity
fears and muted wage growth have curbed consumer spending. Music
retailer HMV, camera specialist Jessops and DVD rental firm
Blockbuster have all gone into administration this year.
In a further blow to the British high street on Wednesday
travel firm Thomas Cook said it plans to close 195
stores as part of a wider restructuring that will see around
2,500 jobs cut.