Peterborough-based TV shopping channel poised to go on market for £200 million

A studio at Ideal Shopping Direct.
A studio at Ideal Shopping Direct.
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Hundreds of workers in Peterborough are facing an uncertain future with an imminent sale of their employer.

Ideal Shopping Direct, in Newark Road, which employs about 500 people, is understood to be about to go on the market with a price tag of about £200 million.

It is believed the sale is part of a review of the performance of the TV shopping channel, which was jointly bought by private equity firm Inflexion and a management team in 2011 for £78.3 million following a series of profit warnings.

The new owners took the company out of public ownership, where it had been listed on AIM.

It is thought the latest sale could be completed within the year.

It is understood that the owners of Ideal Shopping Direct, which operates four television channels plus a digital business, have appointed bankers DC Advisory to try and build on the company’s strong growth prospects.

Ideal Shopping made a £15 million profit in 2014 which is forecast to rise to £21 million this year.

Over the same period its turnover has risen from about £149 million to about £165 million.

It has 3.8 million customers and is looking to expand its business overseas.

Inflexion and Ideal Shopping Direct declined to comment.

Last year Ideal Shopping Direct sold its Peterborough premises to a national investment management group for £5.3 million.

CCLA Investment Management, a specialist investment management body for charities, faith organisations, and local authorities, acquired the 123,000 sq ft freehold warehouse in Newark Road, for £5.35million.

The deal was a sale and leaseback agreement under which Ideal Shopping Direct has agreed a 20-year lease starting at £450,000 a year.

Ideal Shopping chief executive Mike Hancox, said: “They know that we will be around for a long time and this is a good long term investment.

“It should also end speculation that Ideal might move out of Peterborough.”