Playful Promises lingerie sells stake to private equity firm to fund growth
London-based lingerie company Playful Promises has sold a stake to private equity company Bestport as it seeks to add to its fast growth in recent periods and expand further at home and abroad.
The company didn’t give any details of how large a stake it has sold nor how much was paid for it.
Size-inclusive Playful Promises sells on its own website and other major platforms including ASOS and Zalando. It also has licence deals with celebrities and brands including Gabi Fresh, Felicity Hayward, Bettie Page and Hustler.
The 16-year-old company, which was named Small Business of the Year in the 2018 UK Lingerie Awards, brought the investment firm on board “to finance its fast-growing brands and e-commerce business”.
The move comes after the web business, which operates locally serviced sites in the UK, US and Australia, has seen rapid year-on-year growth. For the latest 12 months, it’s expecting to report 70% e-tail growth. It has also recently added its own manufacturing capability to help consolidate its control over the supply chain, something that it said has helped it grow in recent years.
The size-inclusive brand was launched and run by Emma Parker and she’ll stay on as MD following the stake sale. She’s also growing the team “to bring in operational expertise”. Will Hobhouse, previously Chairman of Heals, Jack Wills and Sunspel among others, is joining in the same role. He said the company has a strong understanding of what women want from a lingerie brand and “a great base” to build its e-tail business on.
Parker herself added: “We have already begun to implement a multitude of measures to help strengthen our e-commerce offering and this is an exciting step in the development of the brand. The funding and expertise provided by Bestport and Will as Chairman, will help accelerate the growth of the business and broaden the awareness of the brands. Their experience in growing small businesses will help bolster both our team and the brand, in what we hope will be a period of exponential growth.”
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