SKG Capital, the retail special situations family office, has said it will invest £20 million in retail and consumer businesses over the coming year.
The news follows fast on the heels of the company’s successful turnaround of bedding and linen retailer Julian Charles, which it acquired last year, as it further cements its position as the go-to investor for British retail brands, and could offer a potential solution to family firms struggling on the High Street.
As Britain’s high street continues to tailspin, and Government support for retail businesses winds down, SKG’s £20 million acquisition hunt could provide a vital lifeline for many businesses that the pandemic has adversely impacted.
The firm specialises in working with retail chains and allied businesses in the retail supply-chain, including manufacturers and logistic companies. SKG says it expects to acquire a number of businesses over the next 12 months.
The buying spree is being led by Chris Althorp-Gormlay, Founder and Managing Partner at SKG Capital, who is looking to hear from businesses thinking about selling or seeking investment and expertise after Covid.
Chris Althorp-Gormlay, said: “There are many reputable businesses that the downturn has adversely impacted over the last 12 months. Their balance sheet might have taken a hit, but their potential remains as strong as before, providing they receive the right support and investment.
“These are the businesses that we want to talk to. We have the in-house capability, expertise, and the capital to help them through the short-term storm, return them to long-term profitability, and ultimately rebuild a successful business with a bright future.
“One of our primary focuses throughout the process is to protect jobs and the supply chain. Turning around these businesses must be done in a way that preserves the wider impact they have on the local community and wider economy.”
The news comes as the day of reckoning for retailers fast approaches with the high street reopening next month. As lockdown eases and government support schemes such as furlough are withdrawn, many well-known British brands will have no choice but to shut up shop, unable to ever recover from an unprecedented 12 months.
SKG says its team of retail experts ideally places them to help some of those great brands that are set to collapse over the next six months. During the pandemic’s height last year, the investment firm acquired the established textile retailer Julian Charles and saved it from administration.
It has taken the business from almost £1.0 million in the red pre-pandemic to £1.4 million in the black.
Former CEO of HMV Neil Taylor is an Equity Partner at SKG and a high seasoned retailer who will be leading the acquisition process and working closely with the investee companies on their journey.
Neil Taylor, said: “Many of the Government lifelines are ending, which will leave many credible businesses vulnerable to collapse, taking out thousands of jobs in the process. Covid has brought many good, valuable retail businesses to their knees.
“These are the types of businesses we specialise in working with. We have the track record, know-how and the funds to get them back on their feet, just like we have with Julian Charles one of Britain’s oldest brands, established in 1947.”