October 2018

  • Client : Orlebar Brown
  • Activity : Luxury swim and resort wear
  • Sector : Consumer & Retail
  • Acquired by: Chanel
  • Transaction Type: Sell-side

What our client said

“Jonathan, thank you for all your help, sound advice and hard work over the last year. You very skilfully guided us through a challenging process. As well as a fantastic exit for some very happy shareholders, there is no doubt in my mind that Orlebar Brown has ended up in the right place. Your patience was rewarded!"

John Ayton, Chairman of Orlebar Brown

Cavendish Corporate Finance, the UK’s leading sell-side, mid-market M&A firm, has advised the shareholders and management of Orlebar Brown, the luxury swim and resort wear brand, on its sale to CHANEL SA.

Founded in 2007 by Adam Brown and former business partner Julia Simpson-Orlebar, Orlebar Brown pioneered the tailored approach to men’s beach and swim shorts and has since evolved into a full collection of resort wear that revolves around the theme of travel, holiday and sun.

In 2013, specialist consumer investor Piper invested £8m in Orlebar Brown to develop the business into a digitally-led, omni-channel business with a global presence. Since the investment, the brand has expanded its network of stores and currently has 24 own-brand boutiques in 11 countries and more than 250 stockists around the world, increasing online sales by 228%.

Orlebar Brown has recently launched a number of major collaborations, including the James Bond swim collection and partnerships with brand ambassadors such as F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Celebrated for its iconic photographic print shorts, the brand’s high profile customers include Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay-Z, Hugh Jackman, Tom Brady, Michael Fassbender and Roger Federer. The company employs more than 100 people worldwide.

Following the transaction, Adam Brown will continue to lead the business as Creative Director, alongside CEO Paul Donoghue.

Jonathan Buxton, Partner and Head of Consumer at Cavendish Corporate Finance commented:

“We were delighted to advise on the sale of Orlebar Brown to Chanel and believe that Chanel, with its long-term focus on building enduring global brands, is the ideal partner for the next chapter at Orlebar Brown. With its strong digital presence and direct to consumer heritage, Orlebar Brown is a true 21st Century luxury brand which will, in turn, bring something exciting and new to Chanel’s brand portfolio.

The deal also highlights the Cavendish consumer group’s record in luxury and digital and I expect to see other transactions of this nature, as established brands seek newer, more digitally-savvy labels.”

Adam Brown, founder of Orlebar Brown said:

“Jonathan, thank you to you and the Cavendish team for helping us to achieve this amazing result – Chanel is the perfect home for Orlebar Brown. You were patient and tenacious and I always felt you had my best interests at heart.”

Peter Kemp-Walsh, Partner, Piper said:

“I’m delighted that we put our trust in you and the consumer team at Cavendish. Your persistence and skill delivered in spades, exceeding our expectations on all fronts. Well done and thank you.”

Key Contacts

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