Multi-brand fashion retail chain Leading Labels has been acquired by turnaround specialist Baaj Capital.

Leading Labels, established nearly 30 years ago, appointed business advisory firm Quantuma to “effect a swift exit”. The process included priming the business for sale and finding a suitable acquirer, which was achieved in just over four weeks.

The clothing retail chain has 15 stores located throughout the UK, ranging in size from 5,000 to 11,000 square foot, selling men’s and women’s fashion brands, including Ben Sherman, Calvin Klein, Joules, Crew Clothing, Pringle and Wrangler.

In a statement, Quantuma said: “Following unprecedented challenges faced by the clothing retail sector as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the company’s reliance on ‘bricks and mortar’ sites, the retailer’s trading during 2020 was significantly constrained. As a result, the shareholders accelerated their retirement plans and sought a solvent exit.”

Baaj Capital has an established track record of successful turnaround acquisitions in the fashion retail sector and the acquisition of Leading Labels brings new brands as well as advantageous locations to existing operations. Following the acquisition, Baaj Capital said that it will modernise Leading Labels for the digital age.

Adrian Howells, director at Quantuma, added: “2020 was a tough year for retail and many have reassessed their short and long-term business plans. We are therefore delighted to have supported the shareholders of Leading Labels in selling their business to Baaj Capital, which will modernise operations – thereby ensuring the company’s survival and enabling it to flourish under new management.

“Achieving this sale in such a short amount of time is a great outcome for both the shareholders and the staff of Leading Labels alike as the future of the business is assured.”


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