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Duo take Jones Bootmaker back

Footwear veterans Ken Bartle and Peter Phillips and a group of investors have injected £4.5 million into the Jones Bootmaker to take back control of the business which had links to Icelandic investors.

The deal has diluted the shareholdings held by private equity firm Arev and its fund Kcaj, which were both backed by Icelandic investment firms.

Arev and Kcaj now hold a combined share of just 18%. Phillips, who is chairman of the chain, and Bartle who rejoined the business chief executive last September, now own a combined 70% stake in the retailer they sold to Arev and Kcaj in 2005.

Phillips and Bartle have also struck a refinancing deal worth £5 million with Barclays Commercial Bank.  

Arev and Kcaj were set up by former Baugur director Jon Scheving. Both were hit hard last year by the collapse of the Icelandic banks. It’s Ghost, Hardy Amies and Blooming Marvellous businesses all went into administration but Arev and Kcaj managed to stave off falling into administration themselves after negotiating a restructuring deal with lenders last month.

Bartle told Drapers that he planned to introduce a greater concentration of branded product in store and that there would be increased emphasis on casual footwear.

Sales at Jones Bootmaker are £80m and the retailer has 90 stores across the country.

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