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Nicole Farhi set for expansion

Nicole Farhi is gearing up for international expansion, after private equity firm Kelso Place Asset Management took a majority stake in the brand this week.

The private equity firm told the Financial Times it will invest £15m over the next five years, looking at building presence in Asia, in particular, as well as expanding into homewares, accessories and leather goods.

Kelso Place Asset Management took its stake for an undisclosed sum from OpenGate Capital, which bought the label from retail group French Connection for £5m in 2010.

OpenGate will retain a “small interest” in the business, according to the Financial Times.  

Nicole Farhi, as creative director, and Niki Scordi, as chief executive, will be retained.

Stockists of Nicole Farhi called for the brand to return to basics last year, taking product more high-end and reining in distribution. This, they said, was the best way to take the label back to profitability, having run at a loss for a number of years. In 2009, it made a loss of £5.6m.

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