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Regatta sails to the rescue after Hawkshead collapse

Outdoor clothing retailer Hawkshead has been bought out of administration by rival Regatta Group for an undisclosed sum.

Regatta Group operates outdoor brands Regatta, Craghoppers and Dare 2 Be. It plans to expand the 20-store Hawkshead business, which also sells online and via mail order, after it has been restored to financial stability.

Regatta will retain the chain's 180 store staff as part of the deal. However, most of Hawkshead's management team have already left the business, including company director Howard Moher. He is also managing director at distributor Cavden Group, which previously co-owned Hawkshead.

Regatta will continue to operate Hawkshead under its own fascia, but will use the strength of its existing back office structure to help grow both the mail order and retail sides of the business. While Hawkshead branded goods will continue to make up the majority of products in store, Regatta also plans to add product from its other brands.

Regatta managing director Keith Black said: "Hawkshead is a 30-year-old brand with a hugely loyal customer base. We plan to rebuild the business and turn it back into the success it once was.

"We have a lot of experience with this type of product, and as a larger group we have the financial and the people resources to really develop this business. We plan to increase turnover within the existing Hawkshead stores and then begin expansion."

Before going into administration in July this year, Hawkshead was owned by Branded Logo, a company set up by the Cavden Group and two venture capitalist firms. Branded Logo had run the business for less than a year, having bought it out of administration in August 2006.

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