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White Stuff hunts for growth cash

White Stuff is looking for private equity investment to expand after like-for-likes at the business rose 7% for the year to April 26.

The company has sent out a prospectus via corporate advisory firm KPMG to interested parties after founders George Treves and Sean Thomas decided to sell part of their 80% stake.

The 49-store White Stuff chain, which sells boardsports- inspired men’s and women’s casualwear, opened eight stores during the financial year, and wants to build its portfolio to 75 stores over the next three years, as well as expanding overseas.

White Stuff chief executive Sally Bailey said its wholesale business, home shopping operation and retail stores had all seen growth over the past year.

Operating profits reached £6.9 million, with EBITDA up 122% to £8.2m from £3.7m. Total sales rose 39% to £43.8m for the period. Home shopping sales were up 42%.

It is unclear how much investment White Stuff is seeking, but it is looking for an investor to take a minority stake. So far the business has resisted large-scale funding such as that obtained by rival Fat Face, which was bought by Bridgepoint in April 2007.

Some retail observers said the business had a strong proposition because of its multi-channel operation.
Pali International analyst Nick Bubb said: “There are a lot of smaller private equity funds that would be interested.”

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