Gala confirms it is not for sale
Gala CEO Gary Desmond confirms the group is not for sale and is "on the cusp of announcing a number of major new initiatives to further build upon the Gala brand"
1 February 2016 | 0
Gala has resolutely confirmed it is “not for sale” and that “no discussions have or are taking place” in relation to a sale. The denial followed the publication of an article in the Sunday Independent, in which an independent retail advisor reportedly said Gala “may be an attractive target” for the Barry Group.
The article published on 17 January, focused on an interview that Jim Barry, MD of the Barry Group had given the newspaper, in which he discussed possible acquisition opportunities throughout the coming year.
In the interview, Jim Barry said: “We are looking for opportunities at the moment, we have looked at one or two projects last year and we’re still looking at one. We’re about to explore one or two other opportunities, so we would expect to make an acquisition at some stage this year.”
“We will remain within our sector, we aren’t looking at outside our sector… but ultimately it needs to be the right deal for us as well,” Barry added. “We aren’t going to go out blindly and pay silly money for something.”
Further on within the same article, retail and business advisor Keith Harford gave his opinion on the matter. “On the retail side, they could pursue a group such as Gala, which has approximately 200 stores, which are serviced through numerous wholesalers countrywide,” Harford said.
However Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala has since commented: “Gala Retail, with approximately 200 stores across Ireland operating under the Gala, Gala express and Checkout brands, is a wholly Irish-owned retail convenience group.
“The group was founded in 1998 and is owned by nine of the largest independent wholesale companies in Ireland. I can clarify that the Gala Group is NOT for sale and that NO discussions have or are taking place.
“Gala has ambitious expansion plans for 2016 with 10 new retailers already committed to joining the Gala Group in the first quarter. Gala is also on the cusp of announcing a number of major new initiatives to further build upon the Gala brand and several new in-store concepts will be introduced in Gala stores to distinguish and expand the Gala experience for shoppers,” Desmond added.
ShelfLife has also spoken to the Barry Group’s Jim Barry. He likewise confirmed that Gala was not a target, but said he was unable to reveal further details at present regarding any potential acquisition, due to legal reasons. However he added that he would keep ShelfLife informed regarding any possible news in the future, so watch this space!