Oliver Sweeney receives 3.75 million pound investment

Monday, 09 March 2015
British footwear brand Oliver Sweeney has raised 3.75 million pounds of new investment from the Business Growth fund, as it looks to advance its future growth plans. The Business Growth Fund is a 2.5 billion pound fund, backed by five of the UK’s main banks, which injects capital into smaller companies across all sectors in return for an undisclosed minority stake. Following its deal with Oliver Sweeney it will now own a minority stake, while the majority owner will continue to be private investor Amery Capital, run by former Marks and Spencer executive Maurice Helfgott, who chairs the footwear brand.

In addition to being a minority owner, the Business Growth Fund investment director Alistair Brew will joined the board of Oliver Sweeney as a non-executive director, and Adam Leigh, who founded and last year sold The Communications Agency, has also joined as an independent non-executive director.

The funds will be a “significant boost” to the brand, according to the press statement, and will enable the introduction of a new marketing strategy as well as allow the business to explore potential licensing options to expand the brand.

Oliver Sweeney sells minority stake to Business Growth Fund

Commenting on the investment, Helfgott, chairman at Oliver Sweeney, said: “Over the past three years, Oliver Sweeney has developed rapidly and sustainably, quickly reaching the critical juncture in its development at which it now finds itself.

“There is now a great opportunity to build our brand, product and reputation, especially internationally, from its current base of obsessive customers. Men are ever-more interested in shoes, style and individuality. The investment from BGF is perfectly timed to transform the business into the next British menswear success story.”

Brew added: “Oliver Sweeney is a fantastic business with some exceptionally talented people working for it, offering its customers a wide range of high quality handmade products and a great online experience. We believe this is an opportunity to back an established men’s shoe brand that has grown well, building a loyal customer following at the same time.

“Very thorough due diligence has been exercised throughout this investment, and we are keen to grow Oliver Sweeney’s profitability by introducing licensing and then implementing a decisive shift in channel mix. We can support companies like this; by providing a financial boost and strengthening the balance sheet to realise strategic opportunities.”

Oliver Sweeney has six standalone retail stores in the UK, four in central London, and one in Manchester and Leeds, as well as an e-commerce site at oliversweeney.com, and employs 60 staff.

Images: Oliver Sweeney