A JEWELLERY firm whose customers have included Lady Gaga, Elton John and Victoria Beckham is set to return to its roots with support from a Yorkshire-based private equity house.
Enact, the SME (small-and-medium-size enterprise) investor managed by Endless LLP, has backed a management buyout by Theo Fennell of his eponymous jewellery business in a £5m deal. The business was bought from the administrators, BDO.
Theo Fennell, which was established in 1982, is a luxury brand which is famous for its eclectic pieces.
The business will continue to design, create and sell high end jewellery from its flagship store on Fulham Road in Chelsea and it will also continue to operate from The Royal Exchange in the City of London.
Mr Fennell said: “I am thrilled by this outcome as Endless really understands this brilliant British business, and its passionate team, and we will be allowed to do what we have done best and successfully for 35 years: producing wonderfully designed and beautifully made jewellery and silverware, much of it bespoke or unique for people who love originality and craftsmanship.”
Garry Wilson, who led the investment for Leeds-based Endless, said “Theo Fennell is a fantastic and well-loved British brand. Theo plans to take the business back to its roots in Fulham Road providing unique pieces for its customers.
“We are delighted to be working with Theo and his talented team of artisan designers and craftsmen.”
Mr Wilson told The Yorkshire Post that the deal had saved 31 highly skilled jobs.
He added: “I saw the guys in the workshops, and thought, ‘There is something very special here.’
“All we need to do is take it back to basics. It’s a niche creator of bespoke jewellery, It is a British institution.”
The acquisition of Theo Fennell was completed in less than four weeks from the first meeting, an Endless spokesman said. Mr Wilson was supported by David Isaacs and Jon Duffy in connection with the Theo Fennell deal.
BDO’s team was led by Matthew Tait and Stuart Deacon. Endless was advised by Gordons LLP, for the legal work, and PwC, in connection with the tax implications of the deal.
Endless is currently deploying its fourth fund from investors in the US, UK, continental Europe and China. Endless’s £525m Fund IV has an allocation for investment into UK SMEs under its investment brand ENACT.
Endless is a retail investor with current and recent investments including Jones Bootmaker, Arran Aromatics and The Works Stores. Former Leeds United footballer and England international Danny Mills is a significant investor in ENACT, which specialises in transforming the prospects of SMEs that have the potential to grow.
Earlier this year, the Leeds-based Enact fund announced the sale of its first investment, the West Cornwall Pasty Co, to Samworth Brothers for an undisclosed sum. After Enact’s investment in 2014, the West Cornwall Pasty Co’s profits quadrupled, leading to a strong return for investors.
Endless was founded by Garry Wilson and Darren Forshaw in 2005. The firm remains committed to its Yorkshire heartland and has transformed the fortunes of businesses that needed extra investment and new faces in the management team.
Many of Endless’s investments have been completed in less than 28 days. Endless focuses on UK headquartered businesses with a turnover between £10m and £1bn. It has offices in Leeds, London and Manchester, and invest in buyouts, non-core businesses, refinancings and turnarounds.