In the race for Iceland Foods, there was only ever going to be one winner.
Here at The Grocer, we called it early. In October 2010, we ran a story headlined ‘Walker poised for buyback of Iceland’. We never wavered from that position - even after the subsequent auction turned into a sprawling epic, which saw private equity groups take centre stage and memorable cameos from Asda and Morrisons.
But the star of the show was always Malcolm Walker, who made no secret of his determination to regain control of the chain. He stayed punchy and entertaining throughout the process, even when we called his mobile while he was halfway up Mount Everest. He also found time to steer Iceland to a year of record profits and market share.
Now, in a final twist, Walker has stepped in and blown his rivals out of the water, winning back control of the company he founded with just £60 in 1970. It may have cost him £1.45bn to buy it back - more than he initially intended - but Walker has got what he wanted. That’s a future for Iceland Foods - and everyone that works there.