Ellis Rugby brand sold to clothing group
A £29m-turnover clothing designer and manufacturer has swooped for Knaresborough-based Ellis Rugby, an online retailer of polo shirts, hoodies and vintage rugby shirts.
Lowe Clothing, which is headquartered in Worcester, 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.
"The board is keen to acquire businesses operating within the clothing sector with specific emphasis on the ladies’ wear market, which once identified will involve the business looking to secure growth capital/investment.
Lowe Clothing has five UK sites and three overseas offices in Chittagong, Dhaka and Qingdao.