Warburg Pincus takes Reiss stake

A majority stake in UK luxury fashion retailer Reiss has been bought by private equity company Warburg Pincus.

The transaction values the brand, which started out as a menswear store in 1971, at £230 million.

Reiss has two stores in Hong Kong and four in Manila, Philippines; its only stores to date in Asia. The Hong Kong stores are located in IFC Mall and Ocean terminal, Harbour City. It also sells online, on its own website and on Asos. It has 160 stores globally.

The sale ends more than six months of talks between founder David Reiss and several potential investors, one of whom was revealed as Permira, which is the private equity investor in Dr Martens.

According to UK media, Reiss achieved total sales of £146 million in the year to January 31, up substantially from the £111 million of the previous year. Pre-tax profits soared from £3.6 million in 2013 to £10 million during 2014.

Warburg Pincus MD Paul Best says he plans to expand the brand’s presence internationally.

“The business has built an enviable position in its core UK market, with a broad and loyal customer base. We believe there is significant opportunity to build on this success,” he said in a statement.

Reiss, who will remain as chairman and CEO, says the deal will allow the business to grow into a “truly global fashion brand”.

“We have built a great business providing our customers with timeless luxury at affordable prices.”

Reiss and Best said the company’s expansion strategy would be focused on the US, Canada, Asia and Australia. 

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