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TM Lewin mulls management buyout with US investor

British shirtmaker TM Lewin is reportedly in talks with a US private equity firm to back a £100m management buyout of the business.

The retailer is close to striking a deal with Sankaty Advisors, part of Bain Capital, to buy a 20% stake in the business currently held by Coller Capital, according to media reports. The investment firm inherited the stake when it took over Lloyds Banking Group’s troubled private equity portfolio in 2012.

The management team, led by chief executive Geoff Quinn, is expected to keep majority ownership, while Sankaty Advisors will take a minority.

TM Lewin, which was founded in 1898 on Jermyn Street in London’s Mayfair, made a £636,000 pre-tax profit for the year to March 1, 2014, following losses of £1.4m the year before. Sales edged up to £106.8m from £106.7m in 2013.

During the period the business expanded internationally, opening stores in the Czech Republic, Australia and Singapore, where it has been tapping into demand for British-made brands.

TM Lewin declined to comment on the possibility of an MBO. Sankaty Advisors did not respond to request for comment.

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