When we met clothing brand founders Tim Slade and Jules Leaver in 2000, they had a £7m business, but were thinking of selling. We saw two people who were running their business well, but who needed the confidence in their ability to run a much bigger business and put the right people alongside them.
- Our involvement freed up the founders for bigger thinking and enabled this emerging active lifestyle brand to become the market leader.
- A corporate structure evolved around them and after three years they were able to step back and let a new professional team drive the business. This team included a new chief executive and financial director.
- We invested in IT systems to support a multi channel strategy
- During the investment, turnover increased almost six fold to £60 million, and the number of stores more than tripled from 30 to 98. The brand went from one of a number of emerging businesses in the active wear sector to clear market leader by 2005.
- Mark Advani, partner at Livingbridge, said about the exit, “I don’t mind admitting that I found it quite difficult to let go of Fat Face. It was a successful exit for everybody. A couple of months afterwards I went for lunch and a bottle of wine or two with Tim and Jules. We talked about the journey of the business for most of the afternoon. And then I felt we had done our bit.”