Homebase, the DIY retail group, is to increase its store space by 8.5% after buying 27 stores from Focus, its smaller rival, for £40m. The Times. The Daily Telegraph

The expansion will add 1.1m sq ft of space as Focus, which is now owned by the American private equity firm Cerberus, revealed that it wanted to sell 28 more sites than originally intended.

Focus said that it had raised £68m from the sale of 41 stores and planned to sell a further 39.

Wickes, another DIY rival, has already bought seven stores for £4m, taking its chain to 190 stores. Sainsbury’s has bought three and Tesco is thought to have bought at least four.

The 256-store Focus chain will use proceeds from the sale of unwanted stores to pay down debt of just below £100m.