Seraphine, the popular mid-market maternity-wear business, has recently been acquired for a whopping £50 million. This acquisition will result in the founder, Cécile Reinaud, receiving a hefty payout of nearly £20 million from the new owners. Reinaud initially launched the brand in 2002 with a single store in London and a start-up capital of just £250,000. However, through her unwavering determination and hard work, Seraphine has transformed into a highly sought-after brand within the maternity-wear industry. Its popularity soared even further when it gained significant publicity after being worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as other notable celebrities such as Mila Kunis and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Reinaud acknowledged that celebrity endorsements played a crucial role in the brand’s success.

Reports indicate that the acquisition was led by Mayfair Equity Partners, along with the current management team headed by CEO David Williams, a former executive of Asos. Prior to this, Seraphine was co-owned by Reinaud and venture capital company Bridgepoint Growth, which acquired a stake in the business back in 2017. As a result of this deal, Reinaud now holds approximately one-third of the company.

Unlike many fashion retailers that have suffered during the pandemic, Seraphine has thrived this year, primarily due to its robust online operations. In fact, around 90% of its sales now occur online. Additionally, the company was able to quickly adapt to changing consumer demands by shifting its focus to loungewear, resulting in increased sales and profits in 2020. Seraphine’s resilience and growth can be observed through its inclusion in the prestigious Sunday Times ranking of Britain’s fastest growing exporters. Furthermore, only a quarter of its sales originate from the UK, indicating its success in international markets. In the year ending April 2019, Seraphine reported a turnover of £22 million and a pre-tax profit of £2.8 million. However, in the following 12 months, its sales reached an impressive £28.1 million, with approximately one-third of those sales coming from the US market.

Following the buyout, Reinaud has made the decision to retire from the company. She expressed her immense satisfaction, stating that the buyout is like a “dream come true” as she can now exit the business, knowing it is in capable hands. Reinaud also shared her plans to support charitable organizations, including the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, and to work with young female entrepreneurs. She believes that now is the time for her to give back to the community and assist others in achieving their own success.

The acquisition of Seraphine by Mayfair Equity Partners and the management team signifies a new chapter for the brand. With its strong online presence, successful pivot to loungewear, and a solid reputation among celebrities and consumers alike, Seraphine is poised for continued growth and success under its new ownership.

Useful links:
– Seraphine website: https://www.seraphine.com/
– Cherie Blair Foundation for Women: https://www.cherieblairfoundation.org/