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The Very Group announces long term strategic partnership with Carlyle and IMI and a robust Q2 performance

February 27, 2024

The Very Group (“the Company” or “the Group”), which operates digital retailer Very, today announces that it has agreed a new long-term partnership with global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) and international investment house IMI to support its growth strategy.

The partnership includes a £125m funding package, of which c.£85m, provided by Carlyle Global Credit, is immediately available for use by the Company. As part of today’s agreement, Carlyle and IMI will each take a seat on The Very Group Board. As a result, the Group will benefit from the long-term support of two world-class institutions, including their deep network of relationships, industry expertise and capabilities.

The Group has today published its second quarter results, with robust festive sales driving a resilient performance, including Very UK revenue growth of 2.7% to £1,058.1m and total online market share of 0.2% points year-on-year. Very Finance revenue increased 2.7% to £216.4m, supported by average Group debtor book growth of 3.1% and Very UK debtor book growth of 5.5%. Pre-exceptional EBITDA increased 10.1% on the prior year to £130.7m, with an improved current year gross margin due to a strong Very Finance contribution.

Following two years in the role and having reached the end of his contract term, Dirk Van den Berghe has stepped down as Non-Executive Chair to focus on his other non-executive roles as well as new opportunities. A search for a new Non-Executive Chair is underway and well advanced. As a representative of the Barclay family in The Very Group, Aidan Barclay will assume the role of Non-Executive Chair of the Group until an appointment has been made. A further announcement will be made in due course.

Aidan Barclay said: “Carlyle and IMI provide the support of two long-term, experienced institutional sponsors that understand our business extremely well. Their commitment underlines the confidence they have in the Group, and their contribution to the Board will be invaluable as we look to the future. I would like to thank Dirk Van den Berghe for his stewardship during his time as Chair and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Taj Sidhu, Head of European and Asian Private Credit at Carlyle, commented: “We are delighted to expand our relationship with The Very Group and, alongside IMI, support an important phase of growth for the Company. We believe the Group has a compelling and resilient business model and is well positioned for further growth in the coming years and we look forward to working closely with them.”

Rani R. Raad, CEO of IMI, said: “We are very pleased to partner with The Very Group as it embarks on its next phase of growth. Together with Carlyle, we look forward to working closely with them as they deliver against their strategic objectives and growth ambitions.”

Contact information

Media relations

The Very Group - Eilís Murphy / Simon Sporborg

+44 207 404 5959

Carlyle - Charlie Bristow

+44 7384 513568

IMI - Paddy Harverson

+44 7793 850094

Notes to editors

About The Very Group

With annual revenue of £2.15bn, The Very Group is a unique digital business that combines online retail and flexible payments. Our digital retail brands, Very and Littlewoods, help to bring over 2,000 desirable labels within easy reach of more customers. Across electrical, home, fashion and more, we sell everything our 4.4 million customers could need, except food. And our flexible payment options, which are provided responsibly via our Very Pay platform and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, help our customers manage their household budgets. 

About Carlyle

Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across three business segments: Global Private Equity, Global Credit and Global Investment Solutions. With $426 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2023, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. Carlyle employs more than 2,200 people in 28 offices across four continents. Further information is available at Follow Carlyle on X @OneCarlyle and LinkedIn at The Carlyle Group.

About IMI

International Media Investments (IMI) is a privately-owned investment company with a portfolio of leading media brands, including The National, CNN Business Arabic, Al-Ain News, Sky News Arabia and interests in Euronews. We are dedicated to delivering best in class quality journalism that enriches and empowers people through our news, knowledge, and factual entertainment content across all platforms. We also focus on investing in large-scale media brands worldwide through Redbird IMI, a joint venture with Redbird Capital Partners.

Connect with us on @IMIHLDG on Instagram and X, and International Media Investments on LinkedIn.

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