Reiss owner denies plans to sell control of brand
today May 28, 2019
Reiss, the mid-market brand patronised by royal influencers the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex, has denied reports that it's up for sale with its private equity backer, Warburg Pincus, saying it isn't getting ready to appoint bankers to handle the transaction.
A spokesperson said that "it is categorically untrue to say that bankers are going to be appointed to explore the sale of our investment in Reiss, or that the company is itself is up for sale”. The Telegraph had reported that the process should begin soon.
The private equity company acquired its controlling stake three years ago in a deal that valued the retailer at £230 million. The current market price was rumoured to be around £280 million and demand from other private equity buyers would have been expected to be high.
Reiss has shown itself to be one of the stronger players in the UK fashion sector and its latest set of results, released last month, showed sales continuing to rise in double-digits and Ebitda profits rising strongly too, although final profits fell.
It has benefited from its focus on the UK and US markets and is clearly getting the product offer, and its price level, just right. It targets a similar customer to those who would have been fans of LK Bennett, but with that latter brand being priced much higher, Reiss’s prices have proved very appealing and the company has managed to sell more goods without resorting to markdowns.
Its focus on trend-led occasion and careerwear has also resonated with consumers and patronage by the former Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle gives it regular publicity boosts that help it in both its domestic British market and abroad.
David Reiss founded the retailer in 1971 as a menswear-only company, moving into womenswear at the turn of century. It now has 160 shops in Canada, Hong Kong and mainland Europe, as well as Britain and the US.
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