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Is Card Factory about to be sold for £600 million?

Card FactoryThe UK’s leading retailers of greetings cards, Card Factory, could be on the brink of a sale for as much as £600 million according to a report appearing in The Sunday Times.

The Yorkshire-based company, founded in 1997 by Dean Hoyle and his wife Janet, is owned by private equity firm Chapterhouse, which has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to sound out a possible buyer.

The Hoyles made £350 million from the first sale of the business in 2010, and the business has gone from strength to strength as discount and budget retailers thrived during the recession. In the year ending January 2012 Card Factory operated from 611 stores around the UK that turned over £265 million with pre-tax profit of £41.2 million, well up from £30.6 million in the previous year.

Rumours of a second sale surfaced at the end of last year when the Daily Telegraph reported that the company might attract bids of up to £500 million, but it seems the venture capitalist owners might be able to improve on that estimate.

A spokesperson from Chapterhouse refused to comment.