The Foschini Group buys fashion brand Hobbs as 3i exits

 
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The British brand will be part of the South African company's UK portfolio (Source: Hobbs)

Hobbs, the British high street fashion retailer known for being a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, has found a new owner in the form of South African retailer The Foschini Group (TFG).

Hobbs chief executive Meg Lustman said this would help the brand to become "truly successful".

"With TFG’s existing experience managing desirable brands, and their deep understanding of the sector, we are thrilled with today’s announcement and their commitment to assist us to drive our future growth. I very much look forward to working with the TFG team in London to achieve further success for the Hobbs brand.”

The deal ties up a process that was kickstarted in July when Hobbs was approached by the company. Suitors for the brand first started circulating when it emerged that private equity firm 3i was looking to sell Hobbs for as much as £80m.

Terms of the final sale have not been disclosed. It joins Phase Eight and Whistles as part of TFG's UK portfolio as the Johannesburg-listed company expands further into the region with its British subsidiary TFG London.

“Hobbs is a well-established British brand with a loyal customer base and an excellent reputation for the design and retail of high quality clothing and footwear," said TFG chief executive Doug Murray. "I am excited about bringing both the brand and the management team into TFG’s portfolio of brands and delighted with our continued growth in the United Kingdom.”

The sale follows a number of exits for 3i, which was also the previous owner of Agent Provocateur before it was snapped up by Mike Ashley.

Read more: Private equity firm 3i announces £68m gains from weakening sterling

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