UK: Republic Fashion Retail Chain sold to TPG Inc

LONDON: Change Capital Partners Monday reported it had sold its fashion retail chain, Republic, to an American buyout firm TPG Inc. Understandably; TPG Inc is currently seeking expansion of its business in the global fashion's market with such investments. The investment is expected to cost the US based buyout firm an estimated £300 million from its rival private equity firm, Change Capital Partners.

However, the investment deal will see Republic's founders Tim Whitworth and Carl Brewins continue running the business and remain vital investors in Republic's 105 strong retail chain, the company reported. The deals worth remained undisclosed but privy sources to the investment placed it at the £300 million. TPG Inc Monday said it was looking to expand Republic's business that mostly sells its own array of clothes and other brands including Diesel, Miss Sixty, G-Star and Firetrap in Britain and Ireland and advance its online offering further.

With that in mind, TPG Inc has already planned an additional 10 stores this year. Ever since Change Capital's acquisition of a controlling stake in 2005, Republic's turnover doubled to £200 million with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization having trippled. The high street fashion chain, Republic, recently commissioned a new superstore in Belfast's Royal Avenue as part of a drive to double its turnover in three years. Change Capital Partners is an investment vehicle run by former Marks & Spencer bosses Luc Vandevelde and Roger Holmes, reported the Sunday Telegraph. The new investment deal portends a considerable return for Change Capital that became a majority shareholder in Republic with the backing of a £105 million management buyout of the firm back in 2005, October.

The opening of the new store in Belfast comes in the wake of a planned ambitious 12 new stores to be opened across the UK in 2010, with the creation of 500 new jobs. Republic's two founders received multi-million pounds windfalls from the sale and even though retaining a controlling 40% of the business, it is understood that the two have since reinvested a considerably portion of the money into Republic following the latest change of ownership. Republic was up for sale by Change Capital in April, and had sales of around £200m last year.

About TPG, Inc
TPG Capital (formerly Texas Pacific Group) is one of the largest private equity investment firms globally, focused on leveraged buyout, growth capital and leveraged recapitalization investments in distressed companies and turnaround situations. TPG also manages investment funds specializing in growth capital, venture capital, public equity, and debt investments.


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Added: June 29, 2010 Source: Agencies
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