Bondholders mull Brighthouse offer
BRITAIN’S largest rent-to-own retailer Brighthouse could soon be parting from its private equity owner as a consortium of bondholders gets closer to tabling a deal.
The chain, which rents out household items such as fridges and vacuum cleaners through its 280 shops, is under increasing pressure to refinance £220m of bonds that are due next year.
It expected to kick off a formal sales process this month. However, The Sunday Telegraph understands that a consortium of bondholders is preparing to propose a debt-for-equity swap in the coming weeks. The plan could squeeze out its private equity owner Vision Capital, which bought the group 10 years ago as part of a wider deal worth around £250m.
Recent rule changes to the hire-purchase sector have had a major impact on Brighthouse, mainly because it has had to turn away potential customers for having poor credit histories.
Earnings crashed 79pc to £11.7m in the year to March, although Hamish Paton, the chief executive, said last month that the group was “making progress in returning the business to growth”.
Brighthouse did not respond to requests for comment at the time of writing.