Private-equity firm Inflexion to acquire Ideal Shopping Direct in £78m cash deal

TV and online retailer of gardening and other products looking forward to ambitious growth plans.

Ideal Shopping Direct (ISD), the independent TV and online retailer of gardening and other products, is to be sold in a deal worth just over £78m.

Private-equity firm Inflexion made a cash offer for the business, which includes Ideal World and Creative Craft channels.

The company, which specialises in gardening, animal and craft products, runs transactional websites for each of its TV channels - an area that has seen huge growth in the last year, with online sales up 70 per cent.

Inflexion launched Cuba Bidco company for the takeover, and the management includes ISD directors Mike Hancox and Ian Jebson and ex-Halfords boss David Hamid.

The team said it was looking forward to "ambitious growth plans" over the next three to five years.

ISD was founded in April 2000 by Paul Wright and Valerie Kaye. It made a loss of more than £13m in 2008 because of tough trading conditions and "poor management decisions", said the company.

Hancox joined that year, charged with overturning the loss. Sales of £117m in 2010 were up 13 per cent on the previous year and pre-tax profit stood at nearly £7m.

IDS acquired Peter McDermott's Lead the Good Life plant and garden equipment retailer for £5m in January 2010. McDermott left the business last month.

KEY STAT

£6.7m: Ideal Shopping Direct's pre-tax profits in the year to 2 January 2011


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