TM Lewin, the renowned menswear retailer, has recently been purchased by SCP Private Equity from Bain Capital. The goal of this acquisition is to utilize TM Lewin as a steppingstone to establish a collection of quintessential British brands with global popularity. Torque Brands, the newly established entity, will oversee the management of TM Lewin and strive to acquire additional British labels that possess international appeal.

Although the exact purchase price for TM Lewin has not been disclosed, James Cox, the founder and chairman of Torque Brands, has expressed the intention to build upon the brand’s success and further expand its global presence. Cox, with a solid track record in the retail industry, previously led the acquisition of the high-end slipper brand Mahabis and founded the mattress group Simba Sleep. He views TM Lewin’s substantial online sales as a major attraction for the brand.

TM Lewin, despite being perceived as a traditional menswear company, has effectively adapted to the modern world. Approximately 30% of its annual sales, which amount to £120 million, are generated online. This showcases the brand’s ability to embrace e-commerce and cater to the evolving preferences of consumers.

The acquisition of TM Lewin involves a group of influential investors, including Allan Leighton, the former CEO of Asda and current chair of the Co-operative Group, and Paul Taylor, the former managing director of Harrods. This diverse group of investors brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table.

Currently, TM Lewin operates 66 stores in the UK and five in Australia. Unfortunately, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK stores have temporarily closed, and the majority of the company’s employees are being paid through the UK government’s furlough scheme. Nevertheless, the new owner of TM Lewin has acquired the entire store estate, along with the workforce, and intends to retain the existing management team.

Looking ahead, there are likely to be numerous opportunities for Torque Brands to acquire additional British brands with global appeal. The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a shifting landscape in the retail industry, presenting a unique chance for strategic investments. With TM Lewin as its flagship brand, Torque Brands is well-positioned to navigate these uncertain times and establish a robust portfolio of British brands that resonate with international consumers.

Useful links:
1. TM Lewin Official Website
2. SCP Private Equity Official Website