Business

Reiss sold to US private equity firm Warburg Pincus

Kate Middleton in a Reiss dress and Prince William Image copyright Chris Jackson
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge wore a Reiss dress for her official engagement photo

Upmarket fashion chain Reiss has sold a majority stake to Warburg Pincus.

The private equity firm did not say how much it had paid, but said the deal valued Reiss at £230m.

The chain, which is favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge, said the sale would enable it to expand, both in the UK and overseas.

Founded by David Reiss in the UK in 1971 as a menswear retailer, the chain now has 160 shops in the US, Canada, Hong Kong and across Europe.

Mr Reiss, who will remain chairman and chief executive, said he was "delighted" by the deal, which would help it become "a truly global fashion brand".

He said the firm planned to focus on expanding in North America, Asia and Australia "building on Reiss' success in these markets to date".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Reiss currently has 160 shops

Reiss made a £24.4m profit before financial charges on sales of £146m in the 12 months to the end of January.

The firm moved into womenswear in 2000.

The Duchess of Cambridge gave the brand a wider following by wearing Reiss clothes on high profile occasions, including for her official engagement photo and when she met the Obamas.

On its website, the firm credits the Duchess with "sending the brand to stratospheric new heights".

"The business has built an enviable position in its core UK market, with a broad and loyal customer base, and we believe there is a significant opportunity to build on this success and accelerate development internationally," said Warburg Pincus managing director Paul Best.

One of Warburg Pincus' best known UK investments has been in the discount retail chain Poundland.

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