Shoon acquired by former Jones the Bootmaker owners
Retail restructuring specialist GA Europe said the duo had agreed to acquire all of GA’s interest in Shoon, including its debt. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.
Bartle and Phillips, both long-standing footwear industry figures, have an established track record of backing successful footwear retailing businesses, including Stead & Simpson and Gordon Scott. Their most recent venture was the revival and expansion of Jones Bootmaker, which was acquired in 2009 and sold to Macintosh Retail in 2011.
Bartle said: “Peter and I have been admirers of the Shoon concept since its inception and have watched its recent progress with interest. We are confident that the business has enormous potential and this deal represents a very good outcome for the Shoon brand, our customers and staff.”
GA Europe supported a buy-out by Shoon’s management team out of administration in May 2012, providing funding for working capital, as well as taking a direct stake in the equity. Since then the business has undergone a restructure which included an adjustment in the size of the store portfolio, an exit from non-core clothing and the development of new channels including concessions.
Stephen Sanders, managing director of Shoon, said: “We are delighted that, over the last two years, we have been able to revive the Shoon business and that we now have the backing of Ken Bartle and Peter Phillips, who have unrivalled expertise in the footwear sector. We look forward to the next exciting stage in our development.”
Gavin George, GA Europe’s chief executive, added: “We are delighted that Ken Bartle and Peter Phillips will be supporting Shoon in the next phase of its development. We’ve enabled management to re-platform the business and complete the heavy restructuring necessary in the two years post administration. Our investment in, and subsequent exit from Shoon successfully demonstrates our strategy of backing retail businesses where we can successfully apply our capital, specialist restructuring skills and leverage our extensive retail networks.”
Shoon operates 10 stores in Bath, Brighton, Cheltenham, Guildford, Kingston-upon-Thames, Reading, Salisbury, St Albans, Tunbridge Wells and Winchester. It also has a significant online business, which is operated from the head office and distribution facility in Wells, Somerset. In 2013, GA Europe injected further finance for the acquisition of concessions in Windsor, Newbury, Northwich and Nantwich.
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