This weekend, the rumour mill was mostly engaged in grinding out stories about Dragons’ Den investor and Smarta board member Theo Paphitis, who is reported to be looking into buying back lingerie chain La Senza.
The Sunday Times reported Theo is in talks to buy back a majority stake in the ailing company, which he originally bought in 1999. In 2006, he sold the company to Lion Capital, but returned as head of the company in February after former chief executive Rose Foster left. Experts say the chain will be valued at 'substantially less' than the £100m the private equity house is alleged to have originally paid.
Theo is known for his turnarounds: in 1995, he bought Ryman out of receivership and two years later oversaw the rise of Millwall Football Club from administration to championship level. He pulled out of talks to buy Woolworths in December after it became clear the chain was not worth its asking price.
We spoke to Theo’s office this morning but they were reluctant confirm or deny anything. While you’re waiting for news, though, here’s Theo talking about his strategy for a successful turnaround: whether it’s for the first, second or final time.