Originally established as an ironmonger 140 years ago, Robert Dyas now has 97 stores in the UK and employs more than 1,000 staff.
“I am delighted that the business has attracted an entrepreneur of Theo’s stature: his track record for growing retail businesses is second to none,” said outgoing chairman Geoff Brady.
“The sales process attracted a great deal of interest from potential buyers, both from the UK and overseas, but I believe this transaction provides significant benefits both to the Robert Dyas team and to our customers.”
Paphitis, whose other retail interests include the Ryman stationery chain and Boux Avenue lingerie retailer, bought Robert Dyas through his company Gladys Emmanuel Limited.
Robert Dyas majority shareholders have been Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. and Lloyds Banking Group plc since the restructuring of the business in 2009 via a debt for equity arrangement. In January 2012 a sales process was initiated under the aegis of Cavendish Corporate Finance.
The sale comes against a background of robust trading from the Company and strong cashflow. Like-for-like sales growth was 3.8 per cent in the company’s last financial year to 31 March 2012. The company’s sales performance accelerated in the second half of that year and that underlying strength has continued into the current year.
The current Chief Executive, Graham Coles, will stay in his position along with other members of the Robert Dyas Board. Chairman Geoff Brady and Non-executive Director Ian Gray leave the Board. Kypros Kyprianou, Group Chief Executive of Ryman joins the board as Director.