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Exclusive: Don McCarthy to join Radley following sale

Retail veteran Don McCarthy will join British handbag brand Radley as chairman, following its sale to private equity firm Bregal Freshstream.

Don McCarthy


McCarthy will work with Radley chief executive Justin Stead to further the business’s expansion in the UK and internationally.

Radley has 33 stores and eight concessions in the UK, as well as UK, German and Japanese websites. Currently just over 10% of its total sales come from outside of the UK, predominantly via distributors in Germany and Japan. 

McCarthy was most recently executive chairman of House of Fraser and now runs his own investment vehicle, No.9 Investments. Drapers understands it invested in the Radley deal.

He said: “Justin and his team have worked hard to build Radley into brand that is synonymous with high quality design and workmanship so, with Freshstream’s backing, I am confident we can all help the group to capitalise on its enormous potential.”

Stead added: “We have a loyal, and growing, customer base plus a clear growth plan that will see us pursue further UK expansion and international growth. The Freshstream team really get our brand, our culture and our plans for the future so I am really looking forward to working with both them and Don to make these plans a reality.”

Bregal Freshstream was founded as a UK and Benelux-focused fund last year and is backed by Bregal Investments, which is the private equity investment business of Cofra Holding, a European holding company for a privately-owned group of companies, which includes European clothing retailer C&A.

This deal marks Freshstream’s third investment, following infrastructure contractor Taziker Industrial in March 2016 and Belgian self-service restaurant chain Lunch Garden in December 2015.


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