British heritage brand Ben Sherman has been put up for sale by its US owner Oxford Industries.
Oxford Industries, which owns a selection of lifestyle brands, has reportedly hired Financo for the sale process and expects a “timely conclusion”.
Mark Maidment, chief executive of Ben Sherman, told Drapers: “Our parent company Oxford Industries has announced that, having owned Ben Sherman for 10 years, they have started a process to sell the business.”
He continued: “Ben Sherman saw great progress in 2014, reinforcing a unique brand proposition in the menswear market and is on a positive trajectory. Ben Sherman’s strong heritage and positive brand resurgence has laid a good foundation for moving forward with a sale process.
“The Ben Sherman team are focused on running the business well, continuing in our work to build this great brand, and ensuring a smooth transition of ownership. With a history spanning more than 50 years, Ben Sherman is an iconic British brand with an exciting future.”
Financial website MarketWatch said the business had been put on the market as it had a weaker financial performance than some of Oxford Industries’ other labels including Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer.
One menswear source said that while sales might be up at Ben Sherman the business is failing as the product is “heavily discounted”.
“They have made it public to create a bidding war. The product is heavily discounted through their own factory outlets and stock disposal to discounters. No premium retailers in the UK stocks them.”
He added: “An investor needs to allow Ben Sherman to take a position in the market place. It has huge potential with an investor who knows brands on an international basis, for example SearchLight Capital who are rebuilding Hunter at a premium level.”