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BGF backs clothing brand Seasalt

BGF News 09.12.2018

Seasalt, the Cornish lifestyle and clothing brand, announces today a £16m investment in the company to support future growth and development in the business. The investment will see BGF invest £11.5m, with Santander Corporate & Commercial providing an additional £4.5m in funding.

In the last three years, Seasalt’s turnover has grown from £28m to £51m. The company now employs 869 people and is one of the largest private employers in Cornwall. In March, Seasalt opened its 50th store in the UK, bucking the recent prevailing trend on the British high street.

With this new investment, Seasalt is set to open another 40 stores over the next 5 years, employing an additional 700 people across the UK and Ireland. By early 2019, the company will have over 1000 employees. As well as developing new career opportunities, the investment will support Seasalt’s ongoing drive to improve customer experience, both in-store and online.

Paul Hayes, CEO of Seasalt, commented: “We’ve worked hard over the last few years to grow our presence on the high street, foster an environment which provides a unique experience for our customers, and create more jobs not just in the South West but across the UK.

“This investment will allow us to go much further on all fronts. As well as opening new stores both at home and growing internationally, we now have the flexibility and freedom to continue to innovate across all channels, making sure that shopping with Seasalt is a really intuitive experience for our customers both in-store and online.”

“The confidence shown in Seasalt by BGF and Santander demonstrates that we have a strong and successful business that is set fair for future sustained growth.”

 As well as investing in new stores, Seasalt is set to take advantage of BGF’s extensive network of investment professionals, non-executive directors, and advisers. As part of the investment, Seasalt will have access to this expertise in order to aid further development and growth of the business.

The business can also access support from Santander, which includes training, mentoring and seminars as well as access to overseas trade missions and part-funded interns through partner universities. Helping UK businesses to export is a key specialism of the bank, and Santander will look to support Seasalt through introductions to key contacts and local networks.

The deal was led for BGF by Ned Dorbin and Dan Tapson, and Peter Abel leading for Santander.

Ned Dorbin of BGF commented: Seasalt is exactly the type of business we look to support: a creative and entrepreneurial brand, with a management team who are passionate about and have a clear plan to continue growing the business. This investment is testament to the quality of the brand that has been built, with sustained growth over the last five years in particular. We’re delighted to be supporting them as they continue to grow.”

Peter Abel, Director, Growth Capital Structured Finance, Santander Corporate & Commercial, added: “Seasalt is a business that we have known and worked with for a number of years. We assisted them with their early growth ambitions and it’s great to be able to continue to support the business and management team as it embarks on its next stage of growth alongside BGF.

“The funding is part of the long-term partnership we have enjoyed with Seasalt to support the firm’s wider growth aspirations and we look forward to continuing to work with the business as they realise their ambitions.”