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Hobbs acquired by Whistles owner Foschini

Lauretta Roberts
07 November 2017

Hobbs has been acquired by the South African owner of fellow British fashion retailers Whistles and Phase Eight.

The Foschini Group (TFG) has acquired Hobbs for an undisclosed sum after the business was put up for sale by its private equity owner 3i earlier this year.

Hobbs chief executive Meg Lustman said the deal would help ensure the future success of Hobbs, which was founded in 1981 and operates around 140 UK stores and concessions.

"With TFG’s existing experience managing desirable brands, and their deep understanding of the sector, we are thrilled with today’s announcement and their commitment to assist us to drive our future growth. I very much look forward to working with the TFG team in London to achieve further success for the Hobbs brand," Lustman said.

TFG CEO Doug Murray said: “Hobbs is a well-established British brand with a loyal customer base and an excellent reputation for the design and retail of high quality clothing and footwear. I am excited about bringing both the brand and the management team into TFG’s portfolio of brands and delighted with our continued growth in the United Kingdom.”

This is the third UK chain to be acquired by Foschini. In March last year it acquired Whistles, which was previously owned by its former CEO Jane Shepherdson and Icelandic investor Mundur, for an undisclosed sum having previously acquired Phase Eight the prior year.

Foschini's interest in Hobbs was first reported in July and 3i was believed to be looking for a price of around £80m for the business, having paid £111m 10 years ago.

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