North-west discount store operator B&M Retail has acquired the Opus Homewares chain.
The £48m deal, which adds the 36 Opus outlets to B&M’s existing estate of 200, will allow the retailer to extend its presence into Scotland and Northern Ireland. It will also see B&M strengthen its homewares offer.
B&M, which trades as B&M Bargains, currently sells a wide range of goods from food and toiletries through to housewares, toys and seasonal items such as garden furniture.
Led by brothers Simon and Bobby Arora, the company has enjoyed rapid growth. The Aroras bought the then £65m-turnover, 21-strong chain in 2005. By 2009 they were opening on average one new store a week and turnover had topped £400m, with pre-tax profits rising 147% on the previous year. The company is now a major employer, with 5,500 staff, and attracts over 1m customers a week.
It is currently fitting out a new 625,000sq ft head office and distribution centre, due to open in Speke later this year.
B&M has said it wants to be “the new Woolworths”, and that it also intends to expand into the south of England.
The Opus deal was facilitated by a £40m loan from Barclays Corporate.