In March 2015, BGF invested £3.75m of growth capital in British menswear brand Oliver Sweeney.
Led by an obsession for footwear that has fuelled the brand’s expansion, Oliver Sweeney has become a British menswear success story, manufacturing and selling shoes, clothing and accessories that are an ingenious take on traditional craftsmanship. With a passionate team in London and a factory of craftsmen in the Italian Marche, the brand’s signature blend of contemporary design, skilled manufacturing and superlative customer service has resulted in an obsessive customer base of stylish men searching for something different.
The business was founded in 1989 and was bought by its current owners Maurice Helfgott and Amery Capital in 2009. Amery has a focus on investment in retail and consumer related businesses.
The investment will be a significant boost to Oliver Sweeney, and will enable amongst other things a new marketing strategy as well as the introduction of Licensing as a principal channel.
Oliver Sweeney operates six standalone retail stores in the UK (four in central London, and one each in Manchester and Leeds), as well as the growing e-commerce site oliversweeney.com, and employs 60 staff.
CEO Tim Cooper is the brand’s Cobbler-in-Chief, and has been a footwear industry leader for over 30 years. Chairman Maurice Helfgott, who introduced the deal to BGF, is Chairman of Amery Capital, and currently sits on the board of Moss Bros plc and as well as being a former Main Board Director of Marks & Spencer.
As a part of the investment, Investment Director Alistair Brew joined the Oliver Sweeney Board as Non-Executive Director, and Adam Leigh, who successfully led and sold The Communications Agency, joined as Independent Non-Executive Director.