Endless has acquired a larger stake in The Works, after buying executive chairman Anthony Solomon's stake, and is to open 30 new stores this year as part of its growth programme for 2015.
Endless, a venture capitalist company which also owns a stake in The Book People, is now a majority shareholder in The Works. Solomon has stepped down from the company after seven years in the executive chairman role.
The company said that under Solomon¹s leadership, The Works had delivered seven years¹ consecutive growth, outpacing the retail market overall and cementing its position as a family-friendly discount retailer, with sales expected to rise above £150m.
James Woolley, partner at Endless, said: "Anthony's tenure has led The Works to enjoy the most successful period in its history and has built a truly fantastic business that has outperformed our expectations every year. Working with the management team, he has been instrumental in moving The Works into the modern business it is today, enjoying unprecedented growth from its multi-channel activities and loyalty card scheme. These foundations have set a platform for continued exciting times and future growth."
Garry Wilson, managing partner at Endless, added: "Anthony has been a fantastic investment partner for us as well as a strong and inspirational leader. He leaves the business in an incredibly healthy position with exciting prospects going forward. Our partnership with him has been a particularly fruitful one for everyone connected with the business. Replacing him is going to be one hell of a job."
Solomon said he had enjoyed "every minute" of the last seven years with the business but he felt the time was right to pass the baton on to the management team who have "delighted me with their ability and unending passion."
"I would also like to thank the Endless team for their support and advice over the years," he said "They stand out as having a refreshingly straightforward approach to private equity and are not afraid to roll their sleeves up and get involved with making the tough decisions. I wish the team and Endless every success in the coming years."
As part of its growth programme for 2015, The Works will move forward with 30 new stores this year, the company said. The Works has been regularly adding to its portfolio for the past four years, since Endless owner Gary Wilson said in 2011 the company aimed to expand its stores in the UK by nearly 150 over time, bringing the number from 304 in 2011 to 450.
In its latest annual results, The Works saw a like-for-like sales increase of 7% to £141m and a 47% increase in EBITDA to £8.2m.