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Financial Times reported. Private equity firm YFM Equity Partners structured a management buyout of the company in 1998. In 2012, private equity firm 3i bought a stake in the company from YFM for £28 million. Chris Matthews, who became the company’s CEO in 2013 after an impressive career at Marks & Spencer and Dixons, said GO Outdoors was in the “initial stages” of discussions with potential investors to further expand the business. “Go Outdoors has exciting plans for the future and during these times it is prudent that the company’s owners and investors explore the options available to take the brand to the next stage in its evolution,” he added. “It is critical to find the right investor who understands the DNA of the company and can share in everything that Go Outdoors stands for since the business was founded by John Graham and Paul Caplan.” The move follows a spate of consolidations in the UK outdoor retail sector, which was estimated by market research firm Profile Outdoors to be worth £1.39 billion in 2015. Last year Cotswold Outdoor and Snow & Rock merged with Cycle Surgery and Runners Need under the brand of Outdoor and Cycle Concepts. Sheffield-based GO Outdoors is the UK’s largest specialist retailer of camping equipment, tents, outdoor clothing and footwear. Since its establishment in 1998, the company has grown to 54 outdoor superstores across the UK with more than 2,300 employees. In the year to January 2015, GO Outdoors achieved total sales of over £200 million, boosted by a fast-growing online capability. The management team has delivered rapid growth for GO Outdoors in recent years, through a strategy of locating its stores in large out-of-town locations and offering an authoritative range of products at highly competitive prices. The company plans to continue its aggressive store opening program over the coming years. GO Outdoors opened a £1 million superstore in Leeds last month, and is in the process of opening five new megastores. GO Outdoors is the only UK outdoor retailer to offer good, better and best choices from a £10 walking shoe to a £900 air tent. “It’s what our customers expect from an Aladdin’s cave of outdoor gear and it’s part of what makes us special. From experienced mountaineers to dog walkers and their dogs, everybody’s welcome,” the company says.]]>