31 January 2008, London - Advent International is pleased to announce Fat Face was voted ‘Buyout Realisation of the Year - Trade Sale’ at the 2007 European Venture Capital & Private Equity Journal Awards on 30th January 2008. The award follows the company’s successful sale in March 2007 to Bridgepoint in a transaction totalling £360 million.
Fat Face is the UK’s leading active lifestyle clothing retailer.
The award recognised two key areas of achievement by the Advent team: the strategic repositioning of the business from a UK-only retailer into a global lifestyle brand and a series of growth initiatives which saw the company achieve its value creation objectives in an accelerated two year time frame.
The programme was spearheaded through a series of key management hires including Alan Giles as Chairman, former Chief Executive of HMV, and Alison Holmes, previously Head of International Development at Debenhams.
Initiatives included a significant store rollout programme, increasing the UK store count by some 50%, improvements in its multi-channel retailing strategy, the creation of an Indian sourcing office and the move into international licensing and wholesaling. Significant investment was also made in the company’s head office infrastructure.
The resulting growth in sales and store numbers was faster than any like-for-like specialist retailer, outperforming the market across a number of key metrics.
One advisor who worked on the exit commented: “Advent’s ability to recognise key drivers of the business led them to focus on what was important and really help the management team achieve its targets. The sale process went extremely smoothly and this was in no small part driven by Advent’s organisational excellence and clear strategic position of the business which resulted in one of the best results I have seen in the retail sector.”
Tim Franks, the Advent Managing Director who co-led the deal, was delighted with the win: “Fat Face is a great business, led by a first-class management team. Working with the company has been immensely rewarding and we are very proud to have played a part in helping the business grow. ”