Belgian lingerie business Van de Velde has bought an 87% stake in lingerie retailer Rigby & Peller for an undisclosed sum leaving previous owners, the Kenton family, with a minority 13% holding.

Previous owner June Kenton, who aquired the Rigby & Peller brand with her husband Harold in 1982, said: “It was important for us to choose a company that shared the same values and vision as Rigby & Peller. 

“Our staff and customers rely on us to deliver high standards in product and service. It is a privilege to sell the majority stake to Van de Velde, who like us, are a family oriented company and appreciate the value of heritage whilst looking to the future for growth and success. Our entire team at Rigby & Peller are looking forward to working with them.”

Van de Velde was founded in 1919 and is listed as a public company. It designs and manufactures a range of luxury lingerie brands including Andres Sarda and Prima Donna. Van de Velde retails in North America and parts of Europe.

Ignace van Dooselare, chief executive of Van de Velde, said: “I am delighted to announce the purchase of Rigby & Peller. It is our intention to work closely with both the Kenton family and the existing management team, to invest and grow Rigby & Peller both in the UK and internationally.”

Established in 1939, on London’s South Molton Street by Mrs Rigby and Mrs Peller, Rigby & Peller was acquired by the Kentons in June 1982, the same year June Kenton became grantee of Royal Warrant as Corsetiere to HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Kenton and her son David Kenton will remain active as members of the board of directors of Rigby & Peller following the sale.

Rigby & Peller operates seven stores; five in London in Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Kings Road, Westfield and Brent Cross and a further two in Cambridge’s Grand Arcade and Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent.  It also retails online via its website .