£360m deal in the bag

Private equity group Bridgepoint is to acquire active clothing specialist Fat Face from backer Advent in a deal worth £360 million.

Fat Face’s management - led by chief executive Louise Barnes and finance director Stuart Owens - will remain with the retailer and pursue expansion in the UK and overseas. Both will reinvest in Fat Face. Chairman Alan Giles will also continue in his role.

The market for active lifestyle fashion is estimated by Bridgepoint to be worth £2.2 billion a year. Fat Face, which has 128 shops and mail order and online arms, is expected to generate EBITDA of £30.4 million on sales of£111 million for the year to May 31.

The retailer has four overseas stores at present, two of which are franchised. Further shops are planned for the Middle East, Hong Kong and Singapore, while up to 15 outlets a year will open in the UK.

Bridgepoint partner Guy Weldon said: ‘Fat Face operates in a high growth segment of the clothing market and has demonstrated resilient and consistent like-for-like performance.’

Barnes said: ‘We are excited to be taking our proposition to new audiences at home and abroad.’