Al Arafa for Investments and Consultancies SAE (Arafa Holding), the leading player in the fashion and apparel industry, announced Tuesday the conclusion of a deal by which its British subsidiary, Baird Group (98.2% owned by Arafa Holding), obtains the exclusive rights to operate and manage the international trademark Ben Sherman.
With this deal, Baird Group acquired the exclusive rights in connection with designing, manufacturing, marketing, selling, distributing, and managing the well-known trademark Ben Sherman in the UK and Ireland.
This deal comes following the successful restructuring of the company’s operations where market share increased to 15% of the UK formal menswear market.
Baird Group reported operating profits of £1.5m in the first 9m of 2015, representing an increase of 37.3% compared to £1.1m during the same period in 2014.
Ben Sherman is a well-known international menswear clothing and retail brand, with annual revenues in the range of £15-20m. As per the agreement with Marquee, the owner of the brand, the business comprises of seven retail stores, including its iconic store on Carnaby Street, in addition to running House of Fraser concessions, wholesale accounts (including a significant business with Debenhams and other clients in Australia and the Middle East), and managing the UK online business.
“The exclusive rights to the Ben Sherman brand represents a strategic opportunity for the
group, reinforces the vertical integration between Arafa Holding’s subsidiaries, and contributes to the manufacturing business through the group’s state of the art industrial platform that is considered the largest in Egypt and the Middle East,” CEO of Baird Mark Cotter said.
“The group’s success to close such a deal represents an important achievement that comes with the rebound of the company’s retail sales in the UK market, reassuring confidence in the group’s investments and opening doors to more exports through Arafa Holding’s industrial platform in Egypt,” Chairman and Managing Director of Arafa Holding Alaa Arafa said.
Baird witnessed significant losses post the financial crisis in 2009. Since then, it implicated a restructure plan cutting overheads of calibres of executive and middle management positions in the UK in addition to shutting down the high-cost non-performing stores and replacing them with cost efficient better-located stores.
As a result of the restructuring process, the company’s revenues were back to healthy growth and its market share increased from 11% (in 2012 at start of restructuring) to a current 15% of the UK’s formal menswear market.
Moreover Baird Group witnessed an increase in operating profits and an improvement in margins as it reported operating profits of £1.7m in FY2014 after the company managed to reduce the cost base by £7m. Baird Group manages 235 stores in the UK with total Group sales of £85m.