DEAN HOYLE, one of Yorkshire’s most successful entrepreneurs, has taken his first major position in the retail sector since selling Card Factory for £350m five years ago.
The multi-millionaire businessman has become chairman of The Works after taking a significant minority stake in the discount bookstore chain.
Mr Hoyle made his fortune from Card Factory, which he founded with wife Janet in 1997 and sold for £350m in 2010.
He invested in The Works alongside majority owner Endless, the Leeds-based private equity firm.
Garry Wilson, founding partner of Endless, told The Yorkshire Post: “I have known Dean for a number of years and witnessed what he achieved with Card Factory.
“In our recent discussions I was aware he was looking for his next challenge and given what he has achieved with Card Factory in the discount retail space in the UK I just got incredibly excited that we could get somebody of Dean’s calibre on board.
“What you will see now at The Works is the consistent delivery of £8m-£10m profits a year. You will see the next phase of growth there.”
Endless acquired The Works for £12m in 2008. It has grown from 208 stores to 330. Mr Wilson said the number could rise towards 500.
Asked if the arrival of Mr Hoyle was part of an exit strategy for Endless, Mr Wilson said: “Ultimately it is, but we are hand in glove with Dean and that exit will be two or three years hence when Dean has made his impact on the business.”
The company announced its seventh consecutive year of increased sales and profit. For the financial year ending April 2015, The Works saw an 11 per cent increase in total sales and earnings rise by 15 per cent to £9.3m. Sales totalled £157m.
Mr Hoyle said: “I’m excited to be joining The Works. It’s a fantastic business and one that I have been following for a number of years given the growth it has achieved in the discount market.
“The Works has a really strong management team in place that has built a platform for the company to achieve even greater growth potential, which it has in abundance.
“The business has a unique retail model and doesn’t have the restriction of the single price structure of many discount retailers, giving it both resilience to market changes and the ability to capitalise on consumer trends.
“It also has a thriving multichannel platform in place and there is a lot of headroom to add to the company’s store estate.”
Kevin Keaney, chief executive of The Works, said: “Dean brings a vast wealth of knowledge and front line leadership experience to the management team, which is going to prove invaluable to The Works in the years ahead.
“This is a great coup for our business and we’re thrilled to have him on board.”
Mr Wilson said the appointment would not affect Mr Hoyle’s chairmanship of Huddersfield Town Football Club. He will also remain as chairman of the Card Factory operational board.
It is been a busy year for Endless. The private equity house has completed 10 deals to date in 2015 and has deployed around £100m of its fourth fund, which closed at £525m at the end of 2014.
‘I’ve got determination’
Dean Hoyle believes he inherited the determination to succeed from his mother, a single parent who had to fight to keep him when he was a baby.
He told the Yorkshire Post in 2009: “I was due to be adopted when I was born but my mother decided to keep me. She was shunned and cast to one side because she was a single mother but she had a strong willpower and I think that’s probably came through to me, to be honest. I’ve got determination.”
Mr Hoyle left school in Heckmondwike with no qualifications and moved into a career in engineering but gave it up to sell greetings cards from the back of a van.