Piper exits Orlebar Brown investment to Chanel
Piper, a UK specialist investor in consumer brands, has exited its investment in Orlebar Brown, the luxury swim and resort-wear brand, to Chanel SA.
The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Founded in 2007 by Adam Brown and former business partner Julia Simpson-Orlebar, Orlebar Brown pioneered the tailored approach to men’s beach and swim shorts and has since evolved into a full collection of resort wear that revolves around the theme of travel, holiday and sun.
Piper invested £8m into the business in August 2013 enabling Orlebar Brown to increase sales to GBP22m and develop into a digitally-led, omni-channel business with over 40 per cent of sales online. Since the investment, the brand has expanded its network of stores and currently has 24 own-brand boutiques in 11 countries and more than 250 stockists around the world. It has increased online sales by 228 per cent and launched a number of major collaborations, including the recent James Bond swim collection and partnerships with brand ambassadors such as F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo. Celebrated for its iconic photographic print shorts, the brand’s high profile customers include Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay-Z, Hugh Jackman, Tom Brady, Michael Fassbender and Roger Federer. The company employs more than 100 people worldwide.
Following the transaction, Adam Brown will continue to lead the business as Creative Director, alongside CEO Paul Donoghue.
Founder Adam Brown said: “It’s been an enormous pleasure working with the Piper team in building Orlebar Brown into a truly global luxury brand of which we’re all so proud. I’m extremely grateful for their hard work, attention and expertise and honoured that, in Chanel, we have found the perfect home for the brand to continue to thrive and grow.”
Paul Donoghue, CEO, says: “We are looking forward to being part of the Chanel group of companies and continuing to develop Orlebar Brown’s international footprint.”
Libby Gibson, partner of Piper, says: “Our goal at Piper is to discover dynamic companies with great potential and help build them into brand legends. It’s testimony to the magnificent job Adam, Paul and the team have done with Orlebar Brown that Chanel is joining them on the next stage of their journey. We’ve really enjoyed working with them and wish them every success in the future.”
John Ayton MBE, an early investor in Orlebar Brown and Chairman of the company, says: “It has been an honour working closely with Adam and the team at Orlebar Brown on their entrepreneurial journey. Congratulations to them and to Piper, our fabulous investor, on a great outcome.”
Orlebar Brown was advised by Cavendish Corporate Finance.