Davies to be paid £125m for Per Una fashion range

Click to follow
The Independent Online

George Davies, the fashion guru who founded Next and the George range of clothing for Asda, was celebrating his biggest pay day yesterday when Marks & Spencer agreed to pay him £125m for Per Una, the fashion brand that he created for the retailer three years ago.

George Davies, the fashion guru who founded Next and the George range of clothing for Asda, was celebrating his biggest pay day yesterday when Marks & Spencer agreed to pay him £125m for Per Una, the fashion brand that he created for the retailer three years ago.

Per Una has grown to sales of £250m a year, which equates to about 10 per cent of M&S's total womenswear sales. As the sole beneficial owner of the Per Una range (the name translates from Italian into One Woman) Mr Davies and his family will enjoy the windfall while M&S will gain full control over future profits of the business.

In the 12 months to the end of March this year, profits from Per Una were £17m, M&S revealed yesterday.

Mr Davies has agreed to stay on as chief executive for at least two years.

The whole arrangement is dependent on M&S remaining independent, however. If there is a change of control then Mr Davies has the right to sell Per Una to another retailer.

Not everything about the clothing line has been an unqualified success, however. Its Per Una Due range for teenagers is now being "evaluated" by M&S under Stuart Rose, the group's new chief executive, after failing to attract critical acclaim.

Mr Davies was dumped from his £500,000-a-year job as chairman of the retailer Next in December 1988 after a disagreement over its management strategy.

Having founded Next in 1982 with his second wife, Liz Davies, when it made profits of £4m, it grew into one of Britain's most successful retail brands, making profits of £92.4m in 1987-88.

In 1990 he joined Asda and launched the George range of trendy but low-cost clothing. He sold his stake in George to Asda in 1996 for £15.9m but left in November 2000 after the supermarket chain had been taken over by Wal-Mart.

Comments