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Published
Dec 31, 2020
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Seraphine sold for £50m, management and Mayfair Equity take control

Published
Dec 31, 2020

Mid-market maternity-wear business Seraphine has been sold in a deal valuing it at £50 million with founder Cécile Reinaud reportedly getting a close-to-£20 million payout from the new owners.


Seraphine



The French entrepreneur founded the label as a single London store in 2002 with start-up capital of £250,000 and built it into an in-demand brand. It received a publicity boost after being worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as celebrities such as Mila Kunis and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Renaud has previously said that celebrity endorsement was key for the brand’s growth.

The Times reported that it has been acquired by Mayfair Equity Partners and the firm’s management under CEO (and former Asos exec) David Williams. It had been owned by Renaud and venture capital company Bridgepoint Growth, which took a stake in 2017, leaving Renaud with around a third of the company.

Unlike some fashion retail businesses, Seraphine has done well this year as it has strong online operations (around 90% of its sales now happen online) and was able to pivot to loungewear quite easily. Its sales and profits both grew in 2020 and the company made the Sunday Times ranking of Britain’s fastest growing exporters with only a quarter of sales happening in the UK. 

Its last official set of results (the year to April 2019) showed turnover of £22 million and pre-tax profit of £2.8 million. But sales reached £28.1 million in the following 12 months and around a third of its sales came from the US.

Renaud plans to retire from the firm and told The Times that the buyout is "sort of a dream come true, I’m able to exit and I know the business is in excellent hands”. She added that she’ll now support charities, including the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, and work with young female entrepreneurs as it’s now “give-back time”.

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