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Mone regains Ultimo control

Michelle Mone, founder of lingerie brand Ultimo, has bought shareholders Sir Tom Hunter and Ian Grabiner out of the business in a deal thought to be worth £800,000.

Retail entrepreneur Hunter and Arcadia chief executive Grabiner were believed to have held about 25% of Ultimo’s parent company, MJM International. Hunter is believed to have received in the region of £650,000 and Grabiner £160,000.

The deal, which was led by Mone, gives full control of the business back to her and her husband Michael. Hunter and Grabiner bought into the lingerie business when it fell on hard times in 1999.

Since then Ultimo and MJM’s other lingerie ventures have prospered and Mone has become known as one of the UK’s top businesswomen.

Mone now plans to launch a younger lingerie brand to take on high street lingerie chain La Senza for spring 09.
Mone told Drapers: “We had been contacted by venture capitalists, but we wanted to return to being a family business. We are trading exceptionally well.”

MJM also has a lucrative contract with George at Asda.

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