End Clothing eyes stake sale worth £700m
End Clothing’s Newcastle-based co-founders Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker have asked Goldman Sachs to help sell a stake in the company with a value of about £700m, according to Sky News.
The duo launched the contemporary men’s fashion retailer 15 years ago, with a £40,000 investment after graduating from Newcastle University. They both currently own large minority stakes in the company and, if a stake sale of such magnitude should go ahead, it would provide a serious windfall for the co-founders.
It would certainly count as one of 2020’s largest retail deals, in a year where coronavirus has crippled large swathes of the retail industry as a whole.
According to city sources, private equity firms including Cinven and General Atlantic Partners have been approached. Any sale would also potentially mean big profits for Index Ventures, which invested in the company back in 2014.
The Sky News report says that the company’s latest results for the year to 31 March show it recorded a 26.6% rise in sales to £170.5m, and pre-tax profit rose by 17% to nearly £32m.
Though End Clothing operates stores in Soho in London, Glasgow and Newcastle where it was founded, its online business is believed to be the main money maker and a very well-oiled machine – selling a curated selection of luxury, contemporary and street fashion products across some 500-odd brands, with everything from Gucci to Stüssy.
As reported earlier this week, End is planning to increase its womenswear offer and is actively seeking to take on a dedicated womenswear buyer to work with senior buyer, Sev Halit – formerly of Selfridges – who joined the company earlier this month.
The two End Clothing founders have not made a comment as yet as to whether they want to sell a controlling stake in the business.