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Grant Thornton completes deal hat-trick for ethical fashion group

A team from Grant Thornton UK LLP Transaction Advisory Services has advised on a hat-trick of transactions for an ambitious UK-based ethical fashion group, Refined Brands.

Having supported Refined Brands on the acquisitions of Frugi and Turtle Doves in late 2022, the team led by consumer sector specialists, John Panteli and James Pitts, has now advised on Refined Brand’s purchase of Kettlewell Colours, a Somerset-based ethical women’s fashion brand.

Founded in 2004 by Melissa Nicholson and her husband John, Kettlewell Colours has annual sales of nearly £9m. It sells wardrobe essentials in over 300 colours to customers internationally – working predominantly with small, family-run factories in Portugal, Turkey and the UK who share its environmental values.

Kettlewell Colours becomes the fourth brand in Refined Brands’ portfolio, which also includes Cornwall-based footwear and outerwear brand Celtic & Co. All share the same ethical and environmental values, using sustainable materials and working to a circular fashion model.

The Grant Thornton team provided financial and tax due diligence on both the Kettlewell Colours and Turtle Doves deals and buy-side support on the pre-pack acquisition of Frugi – which included support from the firm’s restructuring team (Alistair Wardell and Will Robinson).

John Panteli,  Grant Thornton’s Head of Transaction Advisory Services in the South said: “With increasing consumer awareness over the environmental impact of the clothes we buy, Refined Brands has a clear and compelling strategy to build a differentiated group of brands with the highest ESG credentials.”

“We are delighted to have advised on these three important acquisitions and look forward to supporting the Refined Brands team as it continues its selective buy and build growth strategy.”

Refined Brands was founded in February 2021 by Refined Capital Partners, the investment company for a group of leading fashion industry figures including Ben Barnett, former CEO of TFG London (owner of the Phase Eight, Whistles and Hobbs brands) and retail veterans Michael Rahamim and Lee Harlow.

The group is funded by the team, in partnership with HSBC, Kvika Bank and Souter Investments, the family investment office of Stagecoach co-founder, Sir Brian Souter.

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