Coopers of Stortford / Damartex SA
CAVENDISH ADVISES ON THE £25 MILLION SALE OF MULTI-CHANNEL RETAILER COOPERS OF STORTFORD TO DAMARTEX SA
Cavendish Corporate Finance is delighted to announce the £25 million sale of Coopers of Stortford, the multi-channel retailer of practical products for the home, garden and leisure, to the Damartex Group, a French clothing distributor, best known in the UK for its Damart range of thermal underwear.
Based in Bishop’s Stortford, Coopers of Stortford was founded in 1995 by husband and wife Neil and Kate Cooper. The Company’s direct sales model and loyal customer base, coupled with its own-brand product line and affordable price points give it a competitive advantage over its nearest comparable high street retail chains such as John Lewis, Argos and Robert Dyas.
As part of a programme of planned succession, an experienced management team was put in place well in advance of the sale. The team will focus on further expanding the business and preserving the originality of the Coopers of Stortford brand while capitalising on the benefits of new ownership as part of the enlarged Group.
The Company is ideally positioned to continue its growth in the rapidly expanding ‘grey pound’ retail market (affluent over 50s) which is estimated to account for 80% of all disposable income in the UK.
Headquartered in France and listed on Euronext Paris, Damartex Group is one of the leading European distributors of clothing and accessories for seniors. Its distribution channels include catalogues, websites and stores and its main markets are France, Great Britain and Belgium.
Following a competitive process run by Cavendish, Damartex was selected as preferred bidder in July 2013, having been initially contacted at main board level by Cavendish’s partner office in Paris.
The transaction was led by Cavendish Partner and head of the Cavendish consumer group, Jonathan Buxton, supported by Cavendish Director Anya Cummins.
The transaction is the latest for Cavendish’s very active consumer team, following the recent sales of other retailers such as Hancocks, Robert Dyas, Liberty and Snappy Snaps and is the second Cavendish deal this year focused on direct retail to seniors, after the sale of Donald Russell, the online retailer of luxury steaks to the over 55 market.
Jonathan Buxton, Partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance, who led the sale, commented:
“Coopers of Stortford has performed incredibly well in a very demanding retail market where consumer spending has been under severe pressure. Its focus on the power of the grey pound has helped it continue to expand and has paid off brilliantly for Neil and Kate Cooper and the management team. It was a pleasure to work with both the shareholders and team and we are delighted that the business has achieved such a successful exit to a supportive new parent company.”
Neil Cooper, founder and Chairman of Coopers of Stortford, commented:
“Does exactly what it says on the tin…
You should choose your advisors very carefully, based on personality (could I work with them) and importantly their past performance. The best testimonial I could ever give to Jonathan and Anya at Cavendish is that I had the best team to support and advise me and my management team and I would definitely use them again! If you choose to work with them you really won’t be disappointed – but hurry though, they are seriously good, so don’t miss out, call them today!
“In completing this transaction, we wanted to ensure that the growth and success of the business that we have built to date is the foundation for further expansion in the years to come. We are delighted with the outcome and we would like to thank the team at finnCap Cavendish for all of their help throughout this process. They are experts at advising founders and entrepreneurs and they provided us with invaluable advice and guidance throughout.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with Rockpool. This transaction will enable us to accelerate our long-term growth objectives and help expand our international presence, especially in the US. Karri and Amy achieved a fantastic result for us and their ecommerce sector expertise, professionalism and unwavering dedication throughout the process were instrumental in achieving a successful completion.”
“We are immensely grateful for the hard work and expertise we received from finnCap in securing this fundraise. Zuleika’s knowledge and communication skills were outstanding. It is the first time we have raised external funds so we were heavily reliant on their introductions, all of which were a good fit for Ro&Zo. Zuleika’s guidance through the process was exemplary. We are delighted to have chosen Pembroke as our new shareholders and look forward to a long relationship with them as we continue our growth strategy.”
“On behalf of all of the shareholders at Peach, a huge thank you to the team at finnCap Cavendish – they have done a great job. With the unprecedented macro back-drop that we have all been experiencing, we needed an adviser who was thoughtful, tenacious and prepared to go the extra mile. We got of all this in spades from the finnCap Cavendish team and it has been a pleasure to work with them. We would not hesitate to recommend them to other business founders and entrepreneurs who are in need of experience-led judgement and advice.”
“I would also like to thank the team at finnCap Cavendish. They have done a great job in finding us the right buyer and running a smart and efficient process. Their support throughout has been excellent and combined with their commercial approach and sector knowledge, they have made great advisers for us.”
“Joe Stelzer and his team at finnCap Cavendish were the perfect partners as we navigated this exciting next step for the group. The firm’s wealth of expertise in advising entrepreneurial growth businesses, partnered with their quality of service and professionalism was invaluable and helped make this deal function as smoothly as possible.”
“This transaction is huge for our business as we look to continue our growth journey. We’re very excited to have raised enough capital from a leading impact investor to expand our market-leading position and maintain standards of excellence across all our products. We’re hugely grateful to the team at finnCap, who played a fundamental role, in what we hope, will be a very exciting growth story.”
“I would like to thank all of those involved in the process that has concluded with us ultimately choosing Neighborly as our partner going forward, those at finnCap Cavendish and our CFO Mike Bergin, without whom this would have not happened.”
Thank you to the Cavendish team for your unwavering support throughout this process. Finding a strategic overseas partner to allow me to realise my global ambition was my number one aim, and this has been achieved. In the current market the result you have delivered is exceptional.
It was a great pleasure to work with the Cavendish team again having originally worked with them when we sold Naked Wines to Majestic Wine in 2015. John, Rebecca and the team rigorously assessed the market to find the right new owner for a business with dedicated staff and suppliers and the right deal to achieve Naked’s goal of realising capital and simplifying the business.
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