Hunter pounces on USC in latest West Coast deal

Tom Hunter has acquired fashion chain USC through his venture capitalist firm West Coast Capital.

No value was put on the deal, but it is thought to be worth between£40 million and£50 million.

The management team of Stephen Craig, John Heath and Peter Wood will continue to grow the business. Hunter's swoop has provided an exit for USC company founders Angus Morrison and David Douglas and equity holders Bridgepoint.

A spokesman for West Coast said: 'The two main reasons for buying USC were the strength of the management team and the strong product offering.

They sell a complementary range of brands. It is an attractive long-term investment.

'Over the past few years USC has opened two or three stores a year, and we see this continuing. We have funds available if the management want them, but have had no discussions yet.'

USC founders Morrison and Douglas said: 'This deal will see USC go on to its next stage of development. We are proud to have taken USC from its inception to its market-leading position in the UK and now feel it is time to hand over to the management team to drive the business forward.' The pair are exploring new business opportunities.

West Coast Capital recently bought shoe chain Office, and was a lead investor in the acquisition of Gadgetshop. The firm has led investments worth more than£2.5 billion since 1991.