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TM Lewin acquired by private equity firm SCP

Lauretta Roberts
12 May 2020

TM Lewin, the Jermyn St based British menswear brand, has been acquired by Torque Brands, a special purpose acquisition vehicle setup by London-based consumer specialist, SCP Private Equity, which has its eye on other British brands.

The deal comes after TM Lewin's former owner Bain Capital Credit, which had owned the formalwear specialist since 2015, put the £130m-turnover business on the market in April as the COVID-19 crisis took grip.

SCP is a specialist private equity investor, focused on the consumer sector and is headed up by Managing Partner, James Cox, who will also act as Executive Chairman of Torque Brands. The team also includes ex-ASDA CEO Allan Leighton, former Harrods managing director Paul Taylor, and two-time FTSE 100 Chairman, Michael Jackson.

Cox said it had established Torque to acquire a portfolio of British brands into one centralised service platform. “There are significant headwinds against great retail businesses in the current environment - posing a very real threat to the sector’s future," he said.

“We wholeheartedly believe that specialist vertical-specific British brands, such as TM Lewin, will continue to hold a premier position in the eyes of the global consumer, and look forward to the challenge of helping the company adapt to the rapidly changing retail landscape.”

“Torque Brands has been set up by SCP to acquire a portfolio of complementary British Brands into one centralised shared services platform. It’s a big supporter of the power of brand Britain and is actively acquiring heritage homegrown talent which we see having a long and successful future.”

“This is an exciting time for the renowned shirt maker and marks the start of a new chapter in its long and illustrious 120-year history.”

“We very much value the brand, and look forward to building on the great work done by the team to date," Cox said.

A number of parties were said to be interested in acquiring TM Lewin, including rival Charles Tyrwhitt. TM Lewin trades from 66 stores in the UK, and over 150 stores worldwide and was founded in 1898.

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