Linda Bennett, founder of the LK Bennett premium chain of women’s footwear and fashion stores, has bought back the business from its private equity backers.
Bennett, who established LK Bennett with a store in Wimbledon Village in 1990, has acquired the remaining equity in the business from Phoenix Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum.
She sold the business to Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity in 2008 for a reported £100m but had remained a major shareholder. She returned as a consultant earlier this year working alongside CEO Darren Topp, the former BHS chief who was appointed in September last year.
Topp said he was “delighted” at Bennett’s “continued commitment” to the business. “As the founder of this wonderful brand 27 years ago, Linda is exceptionally well placed to support its continued growth. Linda has been working with the team since April of this year improving the product, growing the business and supporting the changes we began to make when I joined the company last year. We look forward to accelerating that change in the future to ensure the brand’s continued success in today’s retail environment.”
Bennett, who is considered to be one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, said: “Working closely with the LK Bennett team over the past few months has given me a real sense of excitement and confidence in the potential of the brand. We want to focus on making beautiful clothing and footwear for women of all ages. I’m thrilled to be back in the business.”
Phoenix said it wished Bennett, Topp and the team well moving forward adding that it had been a “privilege” to help develop the business, which now has 260 stores and concessions in more than 30 countries around the world.