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Tufnell in shock exit from Peter Werth and Pink Soda

Managing director of Brand Acquisitions cites “strategic differences” as reason for departure

Greg Tufnell, the retail entrepreneur who led the buyouts of menswear brand Peter Werth and women’s young fashion brand Pink Soda, has quit.

Tufnell, who was managing director of investment vehicle Brand Acquisitions, left the business last week. It is unclear whether he has another job or if he has retained any stakes in the brands.

Tufnell told Drapers his departure was the result of “strategic differences” and declined to provide further details. However, Brand Acquisitions chairman David Eades said Tufnell had resigned to pursue other undisclosed business interests.

Brand Acquisitions, which in its last filing at Companies House posted a turnover of £1.1m for the three months to January 31 2008, is seeking a replacement for Tufnell.

Eades told Drapers: “In the interim, we have a strong, competent board and management team. In addition, I will be increasing my involvement in the company. The opportunity for all the brands is very exciting and the company is looking forward to developing and working more closely with our customers.”

Tufnell, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the fashion industry, was previously chief executive of now-defunct menswear supplier Marchpole, which he left in March 2006. Prior to that he was managing director of maternity and babywear retailer Mothercare from November 1997 and before that headed up the Burton Menswear chain - then part of the Burton Group - also as managing director.

Tufnell and Eades bought Peter Werth in January 2008 through Brand Acquisitions, in a deal reportedly worth £10m. Co-founders Peter Werth and David Summers sold their entire shareholding in parent group Springrealm to Brand Acquisitions and private equity firm Electra Quoted Management, which were backed by Clydesdale Bank. The brand is sold through 35 House of Fraser concessions, 1,440 wholesale UK accounts and one standalone store in Liverpool.

A year-and-a-half later, in June 2009, Tufnell and Eades rescued Pink Soda from administration. The deal added womenswear to the Brand Acquisitions portfolio for the first time. Pink Soda, founded in 1981, has 60 UK wholesale accounts.

One brand managing director told Drapers that Tufnell’s departure was a big loss. “He is very good at what he does. Greg relocated the showroom to central London from Enfield which was a good move.”

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