Private equity owner Sun European Partners has merged its two womenswear businesses Jacques Vert and Irisa, formerly Alexon, and has appointed Jacques Vert chief executive Paul Allen to head up the newly formed business.

The two mainstream womenswear businesses were acquired separately by Sun European towards the end of last year. Retail Week revealed this month that Sun European was merging the back offices of both retailers but this new move is a step on from that.

Now one business operates the Irisa and Jacques Vert fascias including Alexon, Kaliko, Minuet, Ann Harvey, Eastex, Jacques Vert, Planet, Windsmoor and Precis.  Allen’s appointment as chief executive of the company is the first step in fully merging the two retailers.

Jane McNally, who was previously Irisa chief executive, assumes the role of deputy chief executive of the newly formed business, which as yet has no name.

In her new role McNally will take responsibility for product, marketing and merchandising across the businesses’ 11 brands.

Irisa was bought by Sun European after it fell into administration in September. The private equity company, which today acquired the Bonmarché chain, later made a cash offer for the Jacques Vert business in December. It also acquired American Golf around the same time.

No further details were available at this stage regarding the merger. It is unclear if any redundancies will be made.