Womenswear brand Ness raises £2.5m through YFM equity

Investment will be put towards new store rollouts.

YFM Equity has invested £2.5 million into womenswear lifestyle brand Ness, the parties have announced.

The development capital will be put towards new store rollouts and a general further growth strategy.

Ness co-founders, husband and wife team Adrienne and Gordon MacAulay, established the company in Edinburgh in 1997. It currently employs 10 people in its Edinburgh head office and has 11 stores across the UK – generating an annual turnover of £5 million.

As part of the deal existing backers Clydesdale bank will provide a further £1 million banking facility; as well as experienced retail executive Dean Murray joining the business as chairman. He will join a board that also includes Kenny Baillie, who joined as MD in 2013.

YFM invested more than £35 million, including 10 new unquoted investments, in interests in 2014. Recent investments include Wakefield Acoustics, Business Collaborator and ACC Aviation.

>See also: Laundrapp cleans up with £4m funding

Its portfolio also includes cyber security firm, Deep Secure, kitchen manufacturer and retailer, Harvey Jones, outdoor equipment and clothing retailer Go Outdoor and specialist engineer Seven Technologies.

YFM investment director Charlie Robinson called Ness “an established brand with a strong and loyal customer base”.

“We want to help the founders who are passionate about the business to take advantage of the opportunity they have created for the brand,” he said. “We look forward to helping them roll-out new stores, improve their online offering and grow business in their existing sites.”

Ness head of design and sourcing Adrienne MacAulay said the company’s leadership team has “ambitious plans to grow the business”.

“Especially our online offering and to open up more stores across Scotland and the rest of the UK,” she added.

“We chose YFM Equity Partners to finance this growth as they have a proven track record of rolling out retail stores in the UK. We will have two new stores open in the summer and plan to recruit a head of retail and a technology specialist to focus on that growth.”

Further reading on funding: Crowdfunding campaign for low-carb potatoes

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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Fashion Sector