Anya Hindmarch sells of slice of fashion brand to Qatari investors

Her handbags are a favourite with Beyoncé and Alexa Chung

Handbag designer Anya Hindmarch has sold off a larger chunk in her business to Qatari investors.

Qatari investment vehicle Mayhoola For Investment, a fund linked to Sheikha Mozah, the mother of the Emir of Qatar, has almost doubled its stake in the fashion brand to 60 per cent to help the group expand and take control of its Japanese business.

The brand, which has 55 shops globally, started life in 1987 and is now a favourite with celebrities including Alex Chung and Beyoncé and holds a fashion show at London Fashion Week.

The group sold a 38.8 per cent stake to Mayhoola in 2012 for around £27m and sold another 21.2 per cent for £24.2m this year - valuing the group at well over £100m. After the deal Ms Hindmarch retains control of the business through voting rights.

News of the second investment was confirmed in the groups' Companies House filing. The group reported a 1.2 per cent increase in turnover to £24.1m. But the company revealed a widening of pre-tax losses to £4.3m after investment in new shops, improvements in its online operations and distribution network.

 

Ms Hindmarch stepped up to chairman and became chief creative officer in 2011 when James McArthur joined as chief executive.

Ms Hindmarch said: “Since... returning to my creative roots as CCO, I have worked hard to energise the brand. We have had an unprecedented response to our autumn/winter 2014 collection with a strong pre-order book. I am also particularly excited to take back direct control of our Japanese stores.”

Japanese sales make up 35 per cent of its business and it now has full control after buying in its franchisee this year.

Mr McArthur said it has spent the last two years consolidating its market presence and is now seeing its investment “bearing fruit”.

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