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Boxfresh founder ready to return to wholesale market

Roger Wade, founder of streetwear brand Boxfresh, is poised to make his comeback to the wholesale market after raising a £10m ‘white knight fund’ to invest in struggling fashion brands.

Wade, who has been backed by a consortium of private investors via his Brands Incorporated consultancy firm, said current market conditions meant it was an ideal time to snap up struggling brands at reasonably valued prices.

Wade, who sold Boxfresh to Pentland Brands in 2005, said he planned to purchase at least one established brand with a proven track record in sales. He added that the deal was likely to be in the young fashion arena, where he had most experience, though he did not rule out other types of brands.

“Lots of brands have a lot of potential but don’t have the finance to grow. My speciality is to grow brands.”

Wade added: “As trading conditions are so tough, a lot of brands are struggling. They may go through traditional financial routes, for example through venture capitalists, but they [those types of investor] will only be interested in the balance sheet. I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in the value of the brand.

“The current market situation is depressed and that means more companies need to sell their assets,” he added.

Wade echoed Vidler’s views that there was renewed interest in fashion from investors and a lot of acquisition activity, citing JD Sports Fashion’s purchase of Sonneti from WDT last week as an example.

  • For a full interview with Roger, Wade, see next week’s issue of Drapers

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