PHOENIX, SIRIUS BUY STAKE IN LK BENNETT: London-based private equity companies Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity have together taken a majority stake in LK Bennett, a London footwear and clothing brand that operates 90 stores and concessions throughout the U.K., and one store in Paris. As part of the transaction, Robert Bensoussan, co-founder of Sirius, has been named chairman of LK Bennett, Phoenix and Sirius said on Saturday. Linda Bennett, who founded the company in 1990, will remain a non-executive director with a 30 percent stake in the business. The brand is known for catering to a tony clientele. Bennett in 2005 designed the shoes that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wore when she wed Prince Charles. A report in London’s Financial Times over the weekend said that the company is set to achieve sales of 60 million pounds, or $119.8 million, in the fi scal year ended July, and operating profi ts of 12 million pounds, or $23.9 million. The FT report added that Phoenix and Sirius had paid between 80 million pounds and 100 million pounds, or $159.8 million and $199.8 million, for their stake in LK Bennett. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. LK Bennett plans to open new stores in the U.K. and establish a retail presence in Europe, the U.S., Asia and emerging markets. The companies said they also plan to develop LK Bennett’s product range and explore licensing opportunities for the brand. Bensoussan called LK Bennett “an incredibly strong brand,” adding, “We believe there is an exciting opportunity to develop the business and the brand further.” Phoenix and Sirius have previously worked in partnership to develop the Jimmy Choo and Radley accessories brands.
This story first appeared in the July 21, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.