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!
“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.
“Jonathan, thank you to you and your team for your tremendous support and wise counsel during the process. You kept a calm head throughout and successfully charted a course to bring us to this great conclusion. David, the team and I are all delighted with the outcome as we now join forces with Cafento to build the brand to even greater heights. I would highly recommend your services!”
“The team at Cavendish went far beyond what was expected, supporting us through the entire fundraising process. I am certain that the deal with Piper would never have completed in the time frame without their help.”
Jonathan, thank you for all your help, sound advice and hard work over the last year. You very skilfully guided us through a challenging process. As well as a fantastic exit for some very happy shareholders, there is no doubt in my mind that Orlebar Brown has ended up in the right place. Your patience was rewarded!
“Cavendish worked hard and achieved an excellent result for stakeholders. I would certainly recommend their services.”
“The Cavendish team did an excellent job and provided expert advice throughout the transaction and most importantly ensured the deal crossed the line. I am pleased that Jollyes has passed into experienced hands and I truly believe the business has an exciting future ahead.”
“Thank you guys, brilliant work!! Thanks to your advice, the company was well prepared and it all came together very quickly at the end, excellently handled by you and your team. A cracking result for all the OKA shareholders!”
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