UK retailer Marks & Spencer  has today completed its restructuring programme with the sale of its underperforming US supermarket business Kings.

The supermarket chain has been purchased by a group of US investors consisting of Angelo, Gordon & Co, MTN Capital Partners and Bruce Weitz for US$61.5m in cash. The transaction is expected to close by the end of April.

For the year to 2 April 2005, turnover of Kings was $405.9m and operating profit was $7.9m. This compares to a turnover in 2004 of $403.2m  and operating profit of $4.2m.

The US investors are optimistic about the potential for future growth, suggesting that King’s operates in a desirable and expanding market. “In our view, the high-end gourmet food retailing industry is an attractive sector and MTN Capital’s investment partners bring the capital and operating expertise required to make this a very successful investment,” Olivier Trouveroy, a managing partner of MTN Capital Partners, commented.

Marks & Spencer group finance director Ian Dyson said: “The disposal of Kings is the last part of our programme to refocus Marks & Spencer. Kings is a strong brand with a committed workforce, but it doesn’t fit within our core business. We wish them well under their new ownership.”