MD to push growth plans after becoming majority stakeholder.
Helen Dimmick has completed a management buy-out of retail jeweller Green + Benz, where she has been working as managing director for the past 18 months, for an undisclosed sum.
Dimmick has taken the majority share in the business with Green + Benz finance and operations director Mark Williams and TH Baker chairman Alan Higgs also taking stakes in the business with Higgs becoming a chairman at Green + Benz.
Green + Benz has four stores in Machester, Sheffield and Chesterfield, employing 31 people and Dimmick said that plans are in place to increase turnover at the retailer over the next five years. Avenues that will be explore, she said, are new store developments, expanded product ranges with a focus on design-led fine jewellery, improved services and upgraded online technology.
Before joining Green + Benz in October 2010 Dimmick was working for jewellery industry buying group The Company of Master Jewellers where she led a transformation of the group alongside current chief executive Willie Hamilton. Before this multi-faceted role she had been the store manager at Tiffany & Co on Bond Street in London.
Dimmick has been working hard to transform the Green + Benz business since her arrival, implementing new staff and refocusing the company’s product offer on fine jewellery rather than relying on branded silver jewellery. She revealed that an MBO had always been part of the plan from initial discussions about taking on the managing director role but until the deal was signed on the line she had to be “fairly discrete”.
The name Green + Benz will be staying, according to Dimmick who described it as “wonderful”. The focus for her now will be to “really accelerate my plans for change”.
She added: “Our mission statement is really clear, to be one of the UK’s finest independent jewellers through staff development and sales strategy. Now that I am the majority shareholder, there can be a greater focus on putting my personality on the business.
“It’s been so exciting to get it through. The staff didn’t know and the emails I got from the staff have been so lovely. Shane and Julie [Green + Benz founders Shane Green and Julie Benz] were always very clear, they set up a great business but they wanted someone else that was a more strategic jewellery manager.”
Higgs’ involvement in Green + Benz is the result of a professional friendship between himself and Dimmick that led to him advising on the business and then buying into it and becoming chairman.
The Green + Benz management team was advised on the deal by corporate finance advisory firm Rickitt Mitchell and legal advice was provided by Squire Sanders.