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Butterfly Twists targets overseas growth after Pentland nets stake

Pentland Group has made a “sizeable” investment in women’s folding ballet pump brand Butterfly Twists.

Butterfly Twists, which was founded in 2009 by four friends as a solution for women who need a pair of flat shoes that fit in their handbag, will use the cash injection to expand internationally and in the UK. Butterfly Twists and Pentland Group would not reveal the size of the investment.

The brand is sold in 14 countries including the US, France and its leading market Japan, where it is stocked in about 2,000 boutiques.

Co-founder and head of sales Philippe Homsy said it has plans to become as big a name in footwear as Brazilian flip-flop brand Havaianas and ethical espadrille brand Toms.

“The investment from Pentland should allow us to really build ourselves into a global brand,” he said.

In the UK, Butterfly Twists has 140 stockists, including etailer Rubber Sole and footwear chain Office. It is also available through its own website, Butterflytwists.com.

A spokesman for Pentland Group, owner of brands including Kickers, Gio-Goi, Speedo, Boxfresh and Berghaus, said it had made the investment because it believed the product would appeal to consumers around the world. “We invested in the company because we believe in them and their ability to bring something creative and innovative to the marketplace,” he said.

Homsy said the brand would also launch in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong for spring 13.

“It can take a long time to build a brand and get into the consumer’s consciousness, but that is where Pentland comes in as they have a wealth of experience in building brands and they can help us refine our brand message and help us ensure we are being seen,” he added.

As well as ballet pumps, Butterfly Twists began selling foldable women’s boots at the start of the year. The brand is aiming to launch one new product every season.

“When we started we were only available in small, medium and large sizes,” explained Homsy. “But from next season we will be available in full sizes, which is all part of making the brand experience as good as possible.”

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