FatFace completes £15m finance deal, Rose and Bridgepoint step back
FatFace Group has announced the completion of comprehensive refinancing agreement that also sees control passing to its lenders and the departure of its chairman.
With £15 million of new money being injected into the company and a significant reduction in its debt, the company said it should provide "a strong platform for future growth”.
The firm had announced that it was in finance in talks back in April, shortly after all of its 230 shops were forced to close, although it continued to trade online.
The multichannel lifestyle brand said that as part of the overall refinancing, ownership of the operating group will transfer from Bridgepoint to the group’s existing lenders, who, among others, include Alcentra, Goldman Sachs, HIG and Lloyds.
This new phase for the business will also see ex-Arcadia and M&S CEO Lord Rose stepping down as chairman after seven years in the role. His successor will be announced in due course.
CEO Liz Evans described the latest development as “an important milestone for FatFace” that "reflects a significant vote of confidence in the strength of our brand and the business”.
She added that the brand saw a “strong online performance over the summer period and we have seen the benefits of the staycation trend in our local market towns and holiday destination stores. 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 FatFace 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”.
She also highlighted Stuart Rose’s and Bridgepoint’s “commitment to the business” over the years and said Rose “has been an invaluable support, a champion of the business, and an enormous source of knowledge and experience”.
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