The Royal Berkshire Shooting School Group / Private investors
Cavendish Corporate Finance is pleased to have advised on the sale of the Royal Berkshire Shooting School Group (”RBSS”) including the Really Wild Clothing Company, to Alex Newman, a Chilean based Briton and a former senior executive at Antofagasta.
The shooting school was established in 1991 and since that time has been run by co-founder Dylan Williams supported by London based property entrepreneur and avid country sportsman Bryan Richmond-Dodd, who also retains a significant shareholding in the elite fishing brands of Farlows and Sportsfish. It is now recognised as the finest facility of its kind in the UK, and is unique in employing it own 8 full time professional instructors, with a combined experience of 125 years in the industry. The grounds boast over 150 traps replicating high pheasants, driven grouse and coveys of partridges. Over the past few years the school has hosted a number of high profile corporate days and has also help raise over £13 million for charity through fund raising events for such organisations such as Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The Really Wild Clothing Company was created by Natalie Lake in 2002 to appeal to women who enjoy country pursuits and want to be stylish yet practical. ‘County Clothing with City Style’ encapsules the ethos of the brand.
Jonathan Buxton, the Cavendish partner managed the sale exercise and led negotiations. The Group attracted interest from UK field sports enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who were familiar with the excellent reputation of the School, but notably significant overseas buyer interest was shown from parties who recognised the capacity to extend the brand to other areas of country pursuits and to overseas markets. Alex Newman was approached by Cavendish’s M&A International Alliance office in Chile, IB Partners SA, who immediately saw the attraction of the business and the skills of the team. Alex Newman now plans to increase the investment in RBSS and to seek complimentary acquisitions.
Dylan Williams and Natalie Lake will both be staying with the new owner. Dylan commented ”The team at Cavendish demonstrated their international reach and their tenacity to stick with the deal until it closed. They found the ideal owner in Alex. We are very excited at the new opportunities that we can now develop”.
Jonathan Buxton commented ”We are delighted to help secure a strong future for RBSS and to have found a buyer that is looking to harness the talents of the existing leadership team and who wants to build on both the reputation of the school and the unique focus of the clothing brand. The sale marks the fourth luxury goods mandate closed by Cavendish in 2010, following the sales of Smythson and Liberty, and the recent fundraising for Theo Fennell plc.
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