Grattan catalogues was founded in 1912 by John Fattorini, in Bradford, Yorkshire.
In 1986, Grattan was bought by Next plc after Otto Versand had been outbid by Next, which had paid £300 million.
In the 1990's Grattan was the UK's fourth largest mail-order firm, it had a computerized warehouse system, a huge customer base, and 13 percent of the U.K. mail-order market. However,
following a postal strike and the recession of the early 1990's, its parent company, Next, desperately needed to refinance a convertible bond issue.
In 1991 Otto Versand was prepared to pay a premium of £15 million above a rival £150 million bid for Grattan by Sears plc (which controlled the Freemans mail-order house), to secure this UK base.
In April 1999 Otto Versand paid about £150 million to acquire the Freemans U.K. mail-order business from Sears plc. The acquisition increased Otto Versand's share of the U.K. catalog market from 8 to 15 percent, making it the third largest mail order UK business.
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