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Focus sells six stores to Asda

Published: 25 February 2011
DIY retailer has transferred leases for six outlets to supermarket chain Asda for an undisclosed sum in a bid to raise funds for further investment in the firm.
Speaking to DIY Week, Focus chairman Bill Grimsey explained that the company had agreed to assign the leases of six stores to Asda subject to certain terms and conditions.

The stores in question are in Aberystwyth, Clevedon, Gillingham, Woking, Stamford and Torquay.

Mr Grimsey added that it was part of the strategic review of the business recently conducted by Lazards. The asset management firm was appointed last November, with speculation rife that the sale of a number of Focus stores was being considered to raise funds for further investment in the business.

Reports also suggested that a number of retailers had already been sounded out to see if they were interested in acquiring some of the outlets.

Focus' roll out of its Genesis and compact format stores has proved successful for the DIY chain, although it is understood it would take an extra £40m to continue the expansion programme and turn the business around.

A story in the Independent today quoted Mr Grimsey as saying, "If there are selected assets that can be disposed of to create funds for future investment in the new stores that would be considered. And we are in discussions with many retailers, including the big four supermarkets."

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