When Livingbridge met fashion operator Americana, we saw an unconventional investment and an opportunity to back two really talented people, Nayaf Marar and Simon Hague. Its brands Hooch and Bench were renowned for being worn by the likes of Robbie Williams and Oasis. Following investment it went from strength to strength with turnover increasing from around £25 million to more than £80 million and the number of employees from 250 to over 350.
Creating a global brand and tripling turnover
- With two brands in the fashion market, at point of investment there was a risk of brand confusion without a clear growth strategy. We designed an organisational structure that fitted around the needs of the founders, creating the right environment for rapid international growth without crowding out the talents of its founders.
- We rolled out an expansion programme across Europe, North America and Asia. The company delivered strong organic growth, becoming core brands in their markets. In 2002 1% of their revenue came from outside the UK. Five years later this had increased to 14%.
- We invested in IT, financial systems and warehousing ensuring the business could handle forecast growth in all of the trading territories going forward.
- We appointed a Chairman, Managing Director and Financial Director. Second tier management was also strengthened. Hanjo Argendorff joined as International Sales Director. Mark Turner recalls, “I look back fondly on a dinner in Munich early in the investment. Simon Hague and I had just persuaded Hanjo Argendorff to join the Americana journey and head up Export Sales. We knew we had a nugget in the Northern European opportunity and the meeting of minds was a special moment.”
- Turnover tripled from £25m in 2002 to £80m in 2007
“Our partnership with Livingbridge has been a fantastic success and together we’ve taken Americana to new levels.”
David Brock, Chairman
Business established headquarters in Manchester
Turnover is £25 million with 250 staff and 1% of revenue coming from outside the UK
Livingbridge back £20 million buyout, backing founders Nayaf Marar and Simon Hague.
Open first international store in Berlin
Livingbridge realises investment in Americana, which has grown to 350 employees. 14% of revenue now comes from outside the UK.