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Silverfleet acquires footwear retailer Office


European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital has today completed the acquisition of footwear retailer Office from West Coast Capital (WCC).

Silverfleet has not announced the value of the deal but it is believed to be less than the £150 million price originally thought to have been agreed.

First opened in 1981, Office was purchased by WCC in 2003 and has since become a prominent fixture on the British high street.

Gareth Whiley, partner at Silverfleet, commented: “Office is a great business with a management team that really understands what its customer wants. The stores are a destination for anyone looking for fashionable shoes - men or women; designer look to sports.

“The young fashion sector of the footwear market is growing fast and there is still room for a roll-out of stores within the UK and potentially overseas.”

In its 2009 full-year accounts the retailer reported total sales worth £143 million and an EBITDA of £18.5 million.

Office currently has 75 standalone stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and 46 concessions in House of Fraser, Topshop, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

Current CEO Brian McCluskey will continue in his role following the takeover under the new Silverfleet owners.

Sir Tom Hunter, chairman of WCC, added: “Having held Office for seven years and grown it to become the dominant UK fashion footwear business it was appropriate to sell to Silverfleet Capital to oversee the next phase of growth.

“Brian McCluskey and the management team have done an outstanding job and we wish them and Silverfleet Capital well going forward.”

Published on Wednesday 15 December by Editorial Assistant

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