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Warburg Pincus Takes Majority Stake in Reiss

Founder Davis Reiss will keep minority stake in deal that values fashion retailer at $328 million



A New York-based private-equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, with more than $40 billion under management, has agreed to buy a majority stake in British fashion retailer Reiss Holdings,  a favourite of style by Duchess of Cambridge. The deal values the chain at £230 million ($328 million).

The Jewish entrepreneur David Reiss, who founded the company in 1971, will keep a minority stake in the business and stay on as chairman and chief executive, Warburg Pincus said in a statement. Reiss operates in 160 locations in 15 countries and had sales of £146 million in the 12 months to Jan. 31.

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Permira, the private equity backer of Dr Martens, was also eyeing up Reiss but failed to secure the chain, which has shops in Britain as well as the US, Canada, Hong Kong and across Europe.


The Duchess of Cambridge is a fan of Reiss


Warburg Pincus previous acquisitions are: Poundland in the U.K. , Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. in the U.S. and Kalyan Jewelers in India. The private-equity firm plans to expand the company globally, particularly in North America, Asia and Australia.

“The business has built an enviable position in its core U.K. 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, ” Paul Best, a managing director at Warburg Pincus, said in the statement.

Warburg Pincus and TPG sold department store operator Neiman Marcus to Ares Management LLC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in 2013 for $6 billion, eight years after they paid $4.9 billion to take the chain private.



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