Online retailer MandM Direct has been acquired by a Danish rival for circa £140 million less than two weeks after it announced plans to float .

The Herefordshire-based company sells fashion, sportswear and equipment via local websites in the UK, Ireland and several mainland European countries.

The float would have valued the firm at between £140 million and £170 million but now Danish outfit Bestseller has bought the Leominster business.

Bestseller provides affordable fashion for women, men, teenagers and children and markets its products in most of Europe, the Middle East, Canada, India and globally via e-commerce.

It has more than 3,000 chain stores across 38 markets worldwide and the products are sold in approximately 12,000 multi-brand and department stores in 53 markets globally.

Communications director Mogens Werge said: "We have worked with MandM for several years and we have come to know the people within the company as passionate and hard-working who have achieved many positive results lately.

"We believe that MandM will continue to develop and become a leading company within its business and its markets.

"We trust that the collaboration will become beneficial for both our companies in the long run and we look forward to be working with and learning from MandM on areas like mobile sales."

MandM was founded in 1987 and private equity firm ECI invested in it in 2004 before exiting three years later in a £86 million deal which saw TA Associates buy in.

The sale is expected to close within the next two months, pending regulatory clearance, and the two businesses will function as separate companies.

MandM was advised by Canaccord Genuity (finance) and Macfarlanes (legal).

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