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Palladin acquires majority stake in shoe company Harrys of London

Palladin Consumer Retail Partners has made an undisclosed investment in luxury shoemaker Harrys of London. William Blair provided financial advice to Harrys of London on the transaction.

PRESS RELEASE

BOSTON & LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, LLC (“Palladin” or “PCRP”) (pcrp.com) announced today a majority investment in Harrys of London (“Harrys” or the “Company” see http://www.harrysoflondon.com/ ), a London based luxury shoemaker and accessories house known for combining traditional craftsmanship with the latest footwear technology. Jennifer Moores, one of the founding shareholders of Harrys is participating in the investment; other founding shareholders and the existing senior management team led by Marty Wikstrom, Chairman, and Kevin Martel, Creative Director, will remain significant shareholders in the Company.

Harrys was founded with the vision of using traditional cobbling techniques and innovative comfort technologies to create men’s shoes that reflect updated style and exceptional quality. The Company’s shoes are sold in retail stores in the UK, UAE, Kuwait and Japan, online and in prestigious department stores and specialty retailers in more than 20 countries. The Palladin investment will provide Harrys with capital to expand its operating team, open additional retail stores and invest in new initiatives to fund growth including marketing, merchandising, product development, and e/m-commerce.

Mark Schwartz, CEO of Palladin, said, “We have been discussing making an investment in Harrys for some time in order to establish a new high end footwear and accessories platform. The Company has a very loyal following, a great brand name and, under the creative direction of Kevin Martel, developed an exceptional product line that spans several different categories – dress, work, and casual footwear, as well as accessories. We look forward to working with Kevin, Marty Wikstrom, the Executive Chairman, and the entire Harrys team to position the Company for diversification and growth.

Marty Wikstrom, Chairman, added, “The Palladin team brings a wealth of experience in footwear and growing consumer brands. Their expertise, support and leadership will provide creative insights and operational improvements that will be instrumental in capitalizing on the strength of the Harrys of London brand as we bring the Company to the next level of development. The Palladin investment will allow as to reinvest in the business, increase marketing and development programs, and accelerate expansion.

Caryn Lerner, Operating Partner of Palladin commented, “We look forward to using our contacts and expertise to partner with Harrys through what promises to be an exciting period of growth and development. The Harrys’ team members have built a Company known for innovation, technology, design and quality. We intend to build on the Company’s product resources as we work more closely with our retail partners and enhance the customer experience in every distribution channel – retail, wholesale, and e/m-commerce. ”

Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, previously known as Palladin Capital Group, is a private equity firm with extensive experience investing in and building leading retail and consumer brands. Founded in 1998, the firm prides itself on working closely with management teams to create value through strategic and operational initiatives. Its principals have previously held CEO and other senior executive roles at several wholesale, retail, and related companies including Arnotts (Ireland), Gordon Brothers, Nine West, Jones, Holt Renfrew, Escada, QVC Networks and Bloomingdales. Palladin is investing out of its current fund which was closed in April 2012. Current and former investments include Aerosoles, InMotion Entertainment, Nic + Zoe, J. McLaughlin, KT Tape, Things Remembered, Restoration Hardware, Spencer Gifts, Andrew Marc, and Party America.

Palladin provided the equity capital in the transaction. Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor to Palladin. Legal advice to the Company was provided by Taylor Wessing and to certain shareholders by Withers. William Blair provided financial advice to the Company.