Consumer-focussed Piper Private Equity tries on Orlebar Brown for size

Piper Private Equity has added to its list of clothing-based portfolio companies by investing in menswear brand Orlebar Brown.

An £8 million commitment from Piper Private Equity will be used by Orlebar Brown to expand in the US and Europe.

Started as an online designation for shopping, Orlebar Brown now has three standalone stores in Britain and has stockists including Selfridges, Harrods and Barneys.

The business was set up in 2007 by Adam Brown and his former business partner Julia Simpson-Orlebar and has its offering focused on travel, holiday and sun.

Piper’s investment is not the first time that the brand has taken on backing. Private investment firm Venrex and entrepreneur John Ayton have previously taken stakes and will, through the latest deal, remain involved with Orlebar Brown.

Brown comments, ‘I am delighted to be working with partners who share the same values and ambitions as ourselves.

‘The teams extensive experience and knowledge of growing consumer brands will help us accelerate our growth and simultaneously protect our DNA.’

Brown’s reference to Piper as an experienced consumer brand backer stems from the firm’s investments into companies including fellow clothing retailers Weird Fish and Boden, as well as nutrition business Maximuscle, interiors company The Rug Company and adult soft drink brand Bottle Green.

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As well as using the £8 million investment, which has come from Piper’s £107 million fifth fund, for growth in Europe and the US, Orlebar Brown is planning to ramp up its online marketing.

Peter Kemp-Welch, partner at Piper, adds, ‘We have followed the success of Orlebar Brown from a very early stage, and can see that the brand has developed a very strong handwriting which appeals to a wide range of men across the world.

‘We can see myriad growth opportunities for Orlebar Brown, especially the potential to expand its clothing range to satisfy demand for a broader product offering, as well as the chance to grow the US business which already represents nearly 30 per cent of sales.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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