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Cafer Mahiroglu, Owner, Select Retail

UK businesses have looked overseas for investment and rescue packages over the past year.

Turkish, Indian and Egyptian suppliers have been among the saviours, the idea being that a vertical supply chain will bring both speed and margin benefits.

Egyptian company Arafa Holding, which has a stake in BMB Group, bought Speciality Retail Group, and owns Suits You, Racing Green and Young’s, giving it a significant presence on the UK high street.

Then there is Indian firm Alok, which started the trend when it bought value chain QS and rebranded it as Store 21. But the Store 21 story is mired in wrong turns which have seen it see-saw between chief executives.

However, in Cafer Mahiroglu, the media-shy head of Turkish supplier Mahiroglu, value chain Select was rescued by someone with hopes of securing his supply business. His £2.5 million rescue acquisition followed his earlier £13m injection into the retailer which preceded the departure of Select founder Nigel Fisher.

Andrew Andronikou, partner at Select Retail’s administrator UHY Hacker Young, says: “Cafer’s vision is to revamp the quality of the product, the aesthetics of the stores and the location of the shops. He wants bigger units in more high-profile locations, particularly in London.” Ambitious stuff.

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