18 Nov 2002 £68M Sale of Edinburgh Woollen Mill
Rutland Fund Management Limited, the private equity group, today announces the sale of its investment in EWM Group Limited (“EWM”), which owns the UK retailer, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Limited, for a total consideration of £68.0 million.
EWM has been acquired by a newly formed company financed by Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking. The current management team will continue to develop the business. Rutland acquired EWM in July 2001 from Grampian Holdings plc for £49.0 million and subsequently received £12.3 million in part repayment of its investment in May 2002.
Rutland implemented a strategy to address the company’s underperformance, revitalise and reposition the retailer’s existing brand and presence on the UK high street. As part of this strategy, a new Chief Executive, Philip Day, was brought in and important changes were implemented within the retail business – introducing crucial improvements to the supply chain management, financial controls, distribution, investment in new warehousing and the introduction of the EWM brand. As a result, EWM reported markedly improved performance for the year to January 2002, with operating profit of £15.5m (2001: £10.5m).
Paul Cartwright, the Director of Rutland who lead managed Rutland’s involvement in EWM commented:
“EWM is a classic Rutland investment, whereby a well established company required active management to effect a transformation and through this process, deliver value. Together with Philip Day and his team, we have successfully developed the EWM brand within its traditional markets, established sound operational disciplines thereby creating a more profitable operation with a firm foundation for growth”.
Philip Day, Chief Executive of EWM commented:
“With Rutland’s support we have re-established EWM as a leading brand in the UK servicing the mature consumer and domestic and international tourists. I am looking forward to building on these achievements with the support of Halifax Bank of Scotland”.