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Radley seeks backers to aid expansion plans

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British handbag maker Radley is poised to hire financial advisors who will be tasked with finding new backers for an aggressive expansion plan.

It is understood that Cavendish Corporate Finance is readily waiting to help current private equity owners Exponent, which has owned Radley since 2007, bring in new investors. Radley has been enjoying a renaissance in recent seasons after several years at a loss.

Justin Stead, formerly the head of Aurum Holdings (the company behind Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland, and Goldsmith jewellery chain), began his role as CEO in May and has since initiated a strategic review.

According to The Telegraph, Stead will update Radley’s board members, who include Exponent’s directors, of his plans in the next couple of weeks. The new strategy, which will be presented to Radley staff in October, will likely focus on growing Radley’s global footprint as well as overhauling the UK stores and supply chain.

It is expected that Stead will look to fund some of the revamp from the retailer’s recent profits but extra funds would be needed to drive his strategy.

Stead holds close ties with Cavendish since he used the firm to advise on the sale of Aurumn to a US private equity firm in three years ago. It’s anticipated that Radley will be courted by international buyers who can build on the distinction of the British branding.

Published on Monday 24 August by Veebs Sabharwal

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