Surf and ski retailer to go abroad

Private equity group Advent International has snapped up Fat Face, the surf and ski retailer, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal means Fat Face, which has close to 100 shops, will open new stores at the rate of 15 to 20 a year and explore international opportunities.

The deal allows Fat Face’s existing backer, Isis Equity Partners, to realise its investment. Founders Tim Slade and Jules Leaver will retain a ‘substantial stake’ in the retailer.

Fat Face has been undergoing a strategic review for some months and an IPO was one option considered. However, tough retail trading conditions have made investors wary of retail floats and a sale made most sense.

Advent International director Fred Wakeman said: ‘We’re backing an outstanding management team. Chief executive Louise Barnes and finance director Stuart Owens have spent the past 18 months building a business infrastructure that will provide the platform for expansion.’