LONDON — Private equity firm Lloyd’s TSB Development Capital has taken a stake in self-tanning brand St. Tropez, the companies have announced.

The deal’s terms were not disclosed.

LDC’s investment in the Santa Clarita, Calif.-based brand, which has a particularly strong following in the U.K., will enable the self-tanning line to boost its international reach, according to press statements from the companies.

“St. Tropez has seen massive growth and development in the U.K. and is looking to replicate this success in the North American and European markets in order to further accelerate growth,” according to an LDC press statement. LDC is a division of Lloyds TSB Group. “The deal marks a partial disposal by the founder shareholders, with the additional funding enabling St. Tropez to mirror its success in the U.K. worldwide, through further investment in new product development, sales and merchandising.”

Founding shareholder Judy Naake will remain a spokeswoman for the brand, while St. Tropez’s U.K. managing director, Steve Oakes, will head up future development, and Colin Houlihan will act as executive chairman.

“St. Tropez represents a high-profile, high-quality investment for LDC,” said Mark Freer, investment director at LDC Nottingham, in the LDC statement. “As the leading-self tanning brand, with an item selling every 10 seconds around the globe, there is tremendous scope for continued expansion and development, not only in the U.K. but worldwide.”

As reported, rumors had swirled last year that LDC and Phoenix Equity Partners were bidding for St. Tropez.

This story first appeared in the March 24, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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