DFS owner to sell stake

​Private equity firm ​ Advent International ​is to sell a 15 per cent stake in DFS Furniture, raising proceeds of £94m.

​​Advent bought ​Doncaster-based ​sofa retailer DFS ​from founder Graham Kirkham ​in 2010 and ​will ​​remain the t​o​p shareholder in the company​ with a 38 per cent stake.​

DFS shares will be sold at ​£​2.95 per share via an accelerated bookbuilt secondary placing, Advent said on Thursday.

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​DFS returned to the London Stock Exchange in March.

​Earlier this month DFS announced plans to enter the Spanish market to allow ex-pats in Spain to create a home away from home.

The sofa giant has bought a store near Alicante, which will be decked out with the same DFS fascia that adorns high streets throughout the UK.

The target market will be the 800,000 British people who have moved to the south coast of Spain and the plan is to use the store as a showroom for the DFS website.

Ex-pats are well known for their love of all things British, with marmite, Yorkshire Tea and Cadbury’s chocolate already a regular feature on the Costa del Sol.

DFS chief executive Ian Filby believes the ex-pat community will lap up the chance to buy a British sofa.

“There are a lot of ex-pats in Spain - it’s a big market. Our proposition is very competitive in terms of value. It’s a very fragmented market and we’ll be up against relatively expensive rivals.

“If you are setting up home in Spain, we can offer a service that will be very much appreciated.”

He was speaking as the group announced record results and said it sees signs of growing consumer confidence as customers have more money to spend.

​The retailer said it expects the benign market conditions to provide a supportive environment for the furniture sector over the coming months.

“Consumer confidence has at long last returned to pre-credit crunch levels,” said Mr Filby.

“There is a strong correlation between consumer confidence and high ticket items sales.”