Theo Fennell rescued from administration by MBO

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Theo Fennell has completed a management buy-out of his eponymous jewellery business after securing the backing of private equity investors.

The jeweller has cut a deal with Enact, the SME investor managed by Leeds-based private equity outfit Endless, that will allow the business to continue trading.

Theo Fennell had been in the middle of a restructuring programme when it called in administrators back in May, admitting at the time that the financial burden of certain fixed costs had weighed heavily on its balance sheet.

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A number of redundancies were made as administrators BDO Accountancy explored ways to save the 35-year-old business.

In a statement confirming the investment from Enact, Mr Fennell said he was delighted to be able to complete a MBO.

He said: “I am thrilled by this outcome as Endless really understands this brilliant British business and its passionate team and we will be allowed to do what we have done best and successfully  for 45 years: producing wonderfully designed and beautifully made jewellery and silverware, much of it bespoke or unique for people who love originality and craftsmanship.”

The investment means the business will continue to design, create and sell high-end jewellery from its flagship store on Fulham Road in Chelsea and will also continue to operate from The Royal Exchange in the City.

Garry Wilson, who led the investment for Endless, said “Theo Fennell is a fantastic and well-loved British brand. Theo plans to take the business back to its roots in Fulham Road providing unique pieces for its customers. We are delighted to be working with Theo and his talented team of artisan designers and craftsmen.”

The most recent annual accounts for Theo Fennell published on Companies House show that the company made a pre-tax loss of £2.5m on sales of £9.6m for the year ended 31 January 2016.

In a review of the business, the company said: “The strategy for the year was to significantly reduce the losses incurred in the previous year while maintaining the sales. This was in line with the objective of returning the company to profitability by 2018.”

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