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Matchesfashion said to be exploring a sale

The owners of luxury retailer are exploring a potential sale of the business, it has been reported.

The company is seeking advisors to manage the process, sources told Business of Fashion.

A spokeswoman for Matches said it would not comment on speculation.

Matches has four bricks-and-mortar stores and a private shopping “townhouse” concept in London. It plans to open a second townhouse in Mayfair later this year. The large majority of its sales are made online.

Matches reported a record 61% jump in turnover to £204m for the year to 31 January 2016. EBITDA was up 458% on 2015, to £19m.

It launched a 90-minute delivery service last year and moved its head office to The Shard in London, expanding its office space by 40% to 48,000 sq ft.

The company launched 30 years ago, in 1987, when Tom and Ruth Chapman opened the first store in Wimbledon, south London.

The Chapmans still own about 70% of the business, while venture capital firms Scottish Equity Partners and Highland own the rest.

One industry observer told Drapers rumours of a sale “have been in the air for a while”.

He added: “It doesn’t come as a surprise. The venture capitalists are obviously looking to get a return on their investment.”

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