Consortium acquires 50 per cent stake in fashion chain
A consortium including Pizza Express entrepreneur Luke Johnson has injected cash into troubled fashion retailer East by acquiring a 50 per cent stake in the chain and its wholesale spin-off Mint. Johnson, of investor Risk Capital Partners, will become East's non-executive chairman.

Johnson said: 'We were very impressed with the East business and are investing a significant amount of money into the company to enable it to realise its full potential.'

East founder and chief executive Clive Pettigrew said: 'The new consortium combines both fashion and financial expertise and will help transform the company into a strong high street brand'

Mint pulled out of the womenswear market recently following difficult trading. It scaled down its offer to jewellery and fashion accessories.

Former East chief executive Yasmin Yusuf left in November after just seven months. The former Marks & Spencer creative director was hired initially to double the size of East, but the company abandoned expansion plans after experiencing a downturn in clothing sales.

East was founded in 1994 and operates more than 60 stores and concessions. Turnover for the last financial year was more than£40 million.