Freshfields advises MFI as shops go for a pound

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has scooped a role on the disposal of the retail arm of the UK’s largest furniture group MFI.

A team led by corporate partners Mark Rawlinson and Claire Wills advised MFI on the disposal its loss-making retail unit to MEP Mayflower.

Mayflower is a company controlled by Merchant Equity Partners (MEP), the private equity house launched by former Deutsche Bank investment banker Henry Jackson, which is being advised by a team led by SJ Berwin’s head of corporate finance group Steven Davis.

Mayflower paid just £1 for the business. Under the terms of the agreement MFI will pay MEP up to £73.8, payable in three instalments. Meanwhile, MEP will invest up to £68m in the chain by April 2008.

MFI will continue to focus on its kitchen and joinery business. The disposal is subject to the approval of MFI’s shareholders at a meeting scheduled for next month (October).