SuperGroup acquires €40m partner to drive growth

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The Independent Online

SuperGroup, the owner of the trendy Superdry brand, is to embark on a major expansion in Europe after revealing yesterday that it had acquired its Benelux and French franchise partner for up to €40m (£34m) in cash and shares.

The fast-growing fashion retailer said its acquisition of CNC Collections BVBA (CNC) – SuperGroup's biggest franchise and distributor globally – from its principal Luc Clement will enable it to grab greater margins on growing sales in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.

But it will also allow SuperGroup, which also operates the Cult clothing brand, to open larger format shops in the lucrative markets of Germany, Spain and Italy. Julian Dunkerton, the founder and chief executive of SuperGroup, said: "I think strategically it is massively important because it transforms our prospects in Europe per se across every aspect of what we do."

Mr Dunkerton was also effusive in his praise of Mr Clement, who joins SuperGroup as head of European franchising. CNC has been a distributor for the brand since 2004 and a franchisee from 2008. SuperGroup has 59 stores in the UK and 35 on the European continent through partners.

It will pay €7m cash for CNC and an additional €21m in shares. SuperGroup will make up the balance of €12m by the issue of shares in two instalments, depending on certain performance criteria being met over the next three years. For the nine weeks to 2 January, SuperGroup's sales surged by 93.6 per cent, boosted by organic sales and store openings globally.

SuperGroup's share price has soared since it floated at 500p in March and closed up 180p at 1,710p yesterday.