Silverfleet Capital confirms sale of UK footwear retailer Office
The European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital confirmed on Monday the sale of British footwear retailer Office to South African Truworths International for £256 million (about €363 million). The transaction, which is Truworth’s first foray into Europe, will be completed in early December and is subject to approval by the South African Reserve Bank.
The deal was below the initial £300 million the Johannesburg-based retailer Truworths was understood to be willing to pay for Office. With the shoe brand the South African fashion company diversifies its portfolio, which already includes 650 retail stores in South Africa and 40 in 8 African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria and Botswana.
Silverfleet Capital invested in Office in December 2010 and over the last five years has worked with the management team to establish it as the leading fashion footwear retailer in the UK. Under the private equity’s ownership, Office enhanced significantly its e-commerce offering, expanded its retail outlets from 75 to 115 stand-alone stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and expanded into Germany with the opening of six stores. It also increased the number of concessions to 47, which are based in Selfridges, Topshop, Topman and House of Fraser.
CEO of Office, Brian McCluskey, said: “We are excited to have found a long-term strategic retail partner in Truworths International. We look to further invest in the business and continue our success as part of Truworths International.”
The transaction will be effected by Truworths International through a subsidiary that is resident and managed in the UK.
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