Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised END. and its founders Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker, on The Carlyle Group's agreed acquisition of a majority stake in the luxury, streetwear and sportswear retailer. Christiaan and John will retain a significant minority stake and remain co-CEOs of the company going forward.
Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Newcastle, END. is a global multi-brand, digital-led retailer, featuring luxury and contemporary fashion and boasts over 500 designers and brands. With annual revenues of around £170m, the company employs more than 650 people in the UK and ships to over 100 countries worldwide. Leveraging its significant experience in the consumer sector, The Carlyle Group will support END.'s expansion plans across the UK and international markets.
The WBD team was led by corporate partner Ben Butler and supported by Catherine Willis, Oliver Rickett, Jamie Pass, Jeremy Smith, Simon Pilling and Alastair Mitton. This follows WBD's original advice on the 2014 investment in END. by Index Ventures, who will exit via the latest transaction.
WBD partner, Ben Butler, commented:
"We are all immensely proud to have been involved in advising Christiaan and John on this latest transformational transaction. Carlyle Group's investment will allow the acceleration of END.'s growth plans and we are all extremely excited about the future for this stand out North East brand. We are always delighted to be able to support clients throughout their corporate journey and help to deliver their key strategic objectives."
Christiaan Ashworth of END. added:
"We have worked with Ben and the WBD team for a number of years and appreciate the passion, dedication and responsiveness shown by them once again. WBD understood our approach from the start, supporting us throughout and working tirelessly to deliver the transaction."
END. received corporate finance advice from Goldman Sachs. The Carlyle Group was advised by Morgan Stanley and RBC (M&A) and by Latham & Watkins (legals).
Ranking in the UK's top 20, WBD is the transatlantic law firm close to home and supports clients with their regional, national and international growth strategies. The firm has a large corporate practice in the UK advising clients on a broad range of corporate transactions, particularly M&As, IPOs, MBOs, joint ventures, private equity investments as well as growth and development capital fundraisings.