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Radley to appoint advisors as expansion plan starts

Radley is reportedly close to bringing on new investors to fund its international expansion, as well as revamping its UK presence and supply chain.

Exponent, the private equity owner of the UK bag and accessories brand, is about to appoint Cavendish Corporate Finance to find new backers, encouraged by the brand’s return to profit following several loss-making years, according to The Telegraph.

Justin Stead, the chairman of Sofa.com and a private equity investor, who joined Radley as its new chief executive on May 6, has been undertaking a strategic review of the business and is expected to present his new strategy to Radley staff in October.

While Radley can fund some of its expansion strategy from its improving sales, it is thought to require extra funds which would not be available from Exponent.

Stead was previously chief executive of Aurum Holdings, with responsibility for its portfolio luxury jewellery and watch brands Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmith, from 2007 to February 2014, when he stepped down to pursue other interests.

Radley was founded in 1998 and is currently owned by Exponent Private Equity, Phoenix Equity Partners and the company’s management team. It has 33 UK stores and is sold in House of Fraser, John Lewis, Fenwick, Next and Very.co.uk, as well as 195 independent stockists.

Its online site ships to 47 countries and the brand distributes to 14 international markets including Germany, Russia, Taiwan, South East Asia, Australia and Japan. 

Radley, through its Radley + Co and Radley Retail businesses, increased turnover by 10% to £64.3m for the full-year to April 30, 2014, and made a pre-tax profit of £2.2m compared with a pre-tax loss of £0.1m in the previous year.

Radley declined to comment.

@Tara_Hounslea

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