The Carlyle Group has agreed to buy a majority stake in London-based fashion retailer, END. According to Bloomberg, Carlyle's purchase values END. at over £750 million (approx $1 billion).
The private equity firm has a history of investments in Supreme, Moncler, Vogue International, Dunkin' Donuts, and Dr Pepper. Its latest deal will see co-founders Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker retain a significant minority stake while remaining as co-CEOs of the company. Meanwhile, Index Ventures (currently holding a minority stake) will fully exit before the deal is closed on April 1.
The latest figures illustrate END.'s meteoric rise since being founded in 2005 as a two-story shop in High Bridge in Newcastle. The apparel and sneaker retailer, widely regarded for its directional menswear offerings, currently employs over 650 members of staff, ships to 100 countries, and generates revenues of £170m ($235m) – more than half of which is related to sales outside of its native UK.
The Carlyle Group acquisition will see END. receive a €6.4bn ($7.6bn) fund for investing in European opportunities. A further €6.6bn ($7.8bn) fund is intended for buyout and strategic investments across different sectors in the Asia Pacific region.
In a joint statement, co-founders Ashworth and Parker said, “We are thrilled to welcome Carlyle as our new partner. Their experience and strong track record in Luxury and Streetwear will be invaluable to us in supporting END.’s long-term and sustainable growth strategy. Carlyle’s industry knowledge and truly global platform will be instrumental as END. continues to reach an increasingly international audience. We’d also like to thank Index Ventures for being a fantastic partner and great to work with over the last 7 years.”
However, The Carlyle Group is not without some controversy. Prior to VF Corp buying Supreme a few months ago, The Carlyle Group were embroiled in an online rumor mill concerning their latest streetwear investment and a former business connection to Combined Tactical Systems — a leading manufacturer of high-quality law enforcement equipment ranging from less-lethal munitions to anti-riot products.