TitleWard White Group Plc
DescriptionThis collection comprises the records of Ward White Group Plc. The catalogue is in the process of being updated and additional entries for this series are anticipated.
Administrative HistoryThe origins of the Ward White Group lie in a Northampton footwear manufacturer, John White. Just before his death in 1974, the company announced a £4m merger with Leicester firm George Ward. The new Ward White Group went on to buy Payless (DIY stores) from Marley plc in March 1985 for £94million and then also Halfords, Owen Owen, Maynards, AG Stanley holdings, R&S Strauss Associates and Madeleys DIY chain.
Boots purchased Ward White on July 3 1989. Boots purchased the group because of 3 strong businesses: Payless DIY, Halfords and A. G. Stanley.
Payless merged with Do It All (owned by WH Smith) in June 1990, forming Do It All (Holdings) Ltd. Boots became the sole owner in June 1996. In the financial year ending 31 Mar 1998, Do It All made an operating profit of £2.5million on a turnover of £337 million. On 19 August 1998 Boots sold Do It All to the Focus Retail Group for £68 million. At the time, Do It All had 139 stores and employed around 4,500 people.
A. G. Stanley (which included retailers FADS and Homestyle) was sold off in 1997 to Alchemy Partners.
Boots sold Halfords to CVC Capital Partners in July 2002 for £427m. The demerger allowed Boots to increase its focus on its core business of health and beauty.
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