Oliver Sweeney secures £3.75m growth capital finance from BGF
Brand combines Italian craftsmanship with British style and high quality materials to create renowned menswear range
British menswear brand Oliver Sweeney has received a £3.75m growth capital investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) for a minority stake in the business.
Founded in 1989, and bought by current owners Maurice Helfgott and Amery Capital in 2009, the brand blends contemporary design, and quality craftsmanship to provide a stylish range of shoes, clothes and accessories for its loyal customer base of fashion savvy men.
Oliver Sweeney employs 60 staff across four standalone retail stores in central London, one each in Manchester and Leeds and a growing e-commerce site. The funding will be used in the development of a new marketing strategy, and in the introduction of licensing as a principal channel.
CEO and cobbler-in-chief Tim Cooper has worked in the footwear industry for more than 30 years, and chairman Helfgott, a former main board director of Marks & Spencer, is chairman of Amery Capital and sits on the board of Moss Bros plc.
Investment director Alistair Brew will join Oliver Sweeney as non-executive director, with Adam Leigh joining as independent non-executive director.
Helfgott commented: “Amery Capital invests in opportunities that professional investors may wisely avoid and turns them into opportunities that they then can’t resist. Over the past three years, Oliver Sweeney has developed rapidly and sustainably, quickly reaching the critical juncture in its development at which it now finds itself.
“There is now a great opportunity to build our brand, product and reputation, especially internationally, from its current base of obsessive customers. Men are ever more interested in shoes, style and individuality. The investment from BGF is perfectly timed to transform the business into the next British menswear success story.”
Brew added: “Very thorough due diligence has been exercised throughout this investment, and we are keen to grow Oliver Sweeney’s profitability by introducing Licensing and then implementing a decisive shift in channel mix. We can support companies like this; by providing a financial boost and strengthening the balance sheet to realise strategic opportunities.”