Lord Rose exits Fat Face as refinancing deal completes
Lord Stuart Rose has stepped down as chairman of lifestyle brand Fat Face upon completion of a £15m refinancing deal that has resulted in control of the business passing to its lenders.
The lenders, which comprise a consortium of banks and debt funds including Alcentra, Goldman Sachs, HIG and Lloyds among others, have now taken control of the business from its previous majority shareholder, the private equity firm Bridgepoint.
Fat Face has said that a successor for Lord Rose, who was previously CEO of Marks & Spencer and Arcadia, will be announced in due course.
The company revealed in April of this year that it was seeking to refinance while all of its 230 stores were closed due to lockdown.
Fat Face CEO Liz Evans described the deal as “an important milestone for Fat Face and reflects a significant vote of confidence in the strength of our brand and the business."
The company continued to trade online during lockdown and Evans said that strong sales online had continued over the summer and its stores, often located in market towns and coastal locations, had benefited from the "staycation" trend.
“The completion of the refinancing agreement provides us with a strong platform to enable us to navigate the challenges the sector continues to face as a result of Covid-19, and to execute our strategy; putting customers at the heart of everything we do and delivering the Fat Face brand experience by offering unique products which are designed in house and sold through a first-class e-commerce platform, a resilient store portfolio and strong partnerships," Evans added.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bridgepoint and Stuart for their commitment to the business. Over the last seven years as chairman, Stuart has been an invaluable support, a champion of the business, and an enormous source of knowledge and experience. Finally, none of this would be possible without the commitment of all of our employees, and I am extremely grateful for all their hard work as we move forward into this new chapter.”