STAYING PUT: Private equity investor 3i has decided to hang onto its investment in British lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, following a strategic review that began last August.
“Following the review, they concluded there is still lots of growth to be had, and there are no immediate plans to sell,” said a source familiar with both companies.
This story first appeared in the April 8, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
As reported, 3i had asked Goldman Sachs last year to conduct a strategic review of the Agent Provocateur business so that it could explore its options, including a sale. The equity firm has owned the luxury lingerie company since 2007.
A spokesperson for 3i declined to comment.
When 3i took its majority stake in 2007, Agent Provocateur had 15 stores globally. It has been opening 15 to 20 units every year, and now has 101 worldwide. The U.S. is currently Agent’s largest market, and the U.K. is the second largest.
Sales in the year ended March 29 were up 36.2 percent to 53.1 million pounds, or $86.6 million, while EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, rose by more than 50 percent to 9.6 million pounds, or $15.6 million.
Figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the 12-month period.
Online sales were up 30 percent year-on-year, and international brick-and-mortar expansion continues to be a major focus, according to management.
Over the past seven years, Agent expanded its offer to include a lower-priced line called L’Agent, which is designed by Penelope Cruz and her sister Mónica Cruz Sánchez. The brand also has five fragrances with partners InterParfums.