Very Group receives £125m funding package after half-year loss

Very Group has announced a new long-term partnership with investment firm Carlyle and investment house IMI to support its growth strategy following a half-year loss.

As part of the partnership, the online retailer for the UK and Ireland, which is owned by the billionaire Barclay family, will receive a £125 million funding package, with around £85 million provided by Carlyle Global Credit, while Carlyle and IMI will each take a seat on Very’s board.

The move comes as Very reports a pre-tax loss of £2 million for the 26 week period ended 30 December 2023.

The results follow profit before tax of £2.1 million recorded in the previous year.

“We believe the group has a compelling and resilient business model and is well positioned for further growth in the coming years and we look forward to working closely with them,” commented Taj Sidhu, head of European and Asian private credit at Carlyle.

Very recently reported overall group revenue growth to around £1.226 billion in its six-month second quarter ended 30 December 2023 -- up from £1.219 billion in the same period of 2022.

The retailer also reported £410 million of gross profit, corresponding to a statutory gross margin rate of 33.4 per cent, denoting an increase of 0.4 percentage points on the previous year.

“Carlyle and IMI provide the support of two long-term, experienced institutional sponsors that understand our business extremely well,” commented Barclay family representative Aidan Barclay. “Their commitment underlines the confidence they have in the Group, and their contribution to the board will be invaluable as we look to the future.”

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