When executive chairman Bill Archer took over Choice DIY in 1987, the company had just 6 stores. Today it has over 400 stores across the UK, and is second only to B&Q with a 13% market share of Britain’s DIY and gardening market. Archer and his backers, Duke Street Capital who own 55% of the company, recently postponed their flotation plans, due to current market conditions. The company has grown organically and from a series of acquisitions that started with the purchase of Do It All from Boots in August 1998 for around £60m. It acquired Wickes for around £300m in September 2000 and Great Mills in December 2000 for about £300m. These acquisitions helped generate sales of £1.5bn and operating profits of £65m in 2001 for the DIY retailer.
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