Theo Fennell completes brand buyback with Endless LLP
29-Jun-2017Jewellery designer and businessman Theo Fennell has successfully completed a buyback of his eponymous brand in conjunction with private equity firm Endless LLP.
The company, which designs and produces jewellery for celebrities and HNW individuals, went into administration last month after restructuring efforts failed.
At the time, the Theo Fennell brand was owned by a consortium of investors. This group included financier Jon Moulton and Sir Keith Mills, who pioneered the Nectar loyalty card scheme.
The company was listed on London's junior AIM stock market until August 2013, when the consortium completed the purchase of the brand.
What is known about the buyback deal so far?
Endless LLP is a private equity firm with experience of supporting businesses (including the West Cornwall Pasty Company) through transitional periods such as this. The firm made the £5m investment required to complete the buyback through its SME arm, Enact. Under the stewardship of Theo Fennell and Endless LLP, the brand will strip back wholesale operations in favour of premium locations and customers.
Describing the transition, Theo Fennell said the shift in onus would take the company "back to our roots".
When the company first entered administration, an unspecified number of its 54 staff were made redundant. However, the buyback increases the chances that remaining staff will be able to stay in their current roles.
Why did Theo Fennell enter administration?
Administrators BDO were called in by the consortium of owners last month with a view to finding a prospective buyer.
At the time, representatives described how fixed costs were becoming a "burden" and making it increasingly difficult to operate whilst restructuring was ongoing.
According to the latest Companies House filings, Theo Fennell achieved total sales of £9.6m for the year ending 31 January 2016. Despite this, the company made a pre-tax loss of £2.5m in the same period.
The company's reputation for unique designs and celebrity clientele enabled it to punch above its weight in terms of awareness, and BDO were confident of finding a buyer.
Speaking at the time, business restructuring partner Matthew Tait commented: "Given the long-established reputation the company has built for fine craftsmanship, it is not surprising that we are already in receipt of a number of expressions of interest."
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