Lowe Clothing swoops for rugby brand
A £29m-turnover Worcester clothing designer and manufacturer has swooped for Yorkshire-based Ellis Rugby, an online retailer of polo shirts, hoodies and vintage rugby shirts.
Lowe Clothing said the purchase marks the second step in a planned expansion following its acquisition of Graham Winterbottom, a specialist school wear wholesaler, in April.
Jonathan Lowe, chairman of Lowe Clothing, said: "Ellis Rugby is a perfect fit for us. It is geographically close to our office in Otley and its founder, Kevin Ellis, is similar to us in aspiration as well as sharing a passion for product.
"The company designs and retails high quality rugby inspired fashion garments, such as leisure rugby shirts, t-shirts and polos, based around an exciting take on the heritage of the game."
Ellis Rugby joins other businesses including Graham Winterbottom, Albion and Ed Walters, a men's fashion brand, as part of Lowe Clothing. Its management team and staff will join forces with Lowe's Otley office.
Kevin Ellis, founder of Ellis Rugby, added: "This is a great development for Ellis Rugby. As part of Lowe Clothing, we will benefit from the group’s infrastructure, economies of scale and contact with the supply chain we need to expand the business."
Carl Swansbury and Barry Gill of Newcastle-based Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance worked with the board of Lowe Clothing on its expansion.
Swansbury said: "Lowe Clothing is an established designer and manufacturer of garments, primarily to the men’s and children’s wear markets and its future growth strategy will involve welcoming a number of similar branded businesses into the Lowe Clothing stable of brands, to enable Lowe Clothing to grow and diversify into new markets. "
He also told Insider: "This is the first of a number of transactions planned for Lowe in the coming months. It is currently in the process of acquiring a ladieswear business. This will again give the company access to a new market. Lowe is in the process of looking at targets at this stage and does not intend to acquire it until early next year, Q1 2015.
Lowe Clothing has five UK sites and three overseas offices in Chittagong, Dhaka and Qingdao.