Clearwater advises on sale of sock shop and jumpers retail chains


Retail business The Tulchan Group which trades through its divisions ‘Sock Shop’ and ‘Jumpers’, has been sold to Harris Watson Holdings plc – the privately owned group that owns Lyle & Scott, Viyella, Alain Paine Knitwear and Sunderland of Scotland – for an undisclosed sum.

Advising The Tulchan Group were the Manchester team at Clearwater Corporate Finance plc.

With a £30 million turnover The Tulchan Group is headquartered in Cowan Bridge in the Lake District and employs over 800 staff.

Jumpers is a brand of exclusively designed knitwear and co-ordinates and has 160 outlets throughout the country and employs 550 people. A very British concept, the range is handcrafted with a natural feel and meticulous attention is given to detail and finishing.

Founded in 1983, Sock Shop is the UK’s leading specialist retailer of socks and hosiery. With a unique store concept it also offers a range of lingerie, swimwear and accessories that are fashionable and innovative.

Mike Reeves, partner with Clearwater Corporate Finance plc said this is an excellent deal for Tulchan, its shareholders and Harris Watson. “The shareholders are achieving their exit strategy whilst Harris Watson, who have a number of investments in clothing and knitwear, increases its brand portfolio with two very well known high street names. It’s a natural fit.”

Tulchan’s shareholders include 3i, PPM Ventures, Bridgepoint Capital and ECI.

The Tulchan Group also includes ‘Tulchan’, established in 1984, which is a wholesale knitwear and leisurewear brand sold through over 500 independent retail accounts through the UK, Eire and Scandinavia. Tulchan sells in many outlets including gift shops, boutiques, garden centres, independent department stores and via mail order.

Tulchan recently unveiled a new look for its chain of Jumper stores together with a new design for its Sock Shop business.

Clearwater’s Mike Reeves was assisted by deal leader Brian Millrine. Legal advisers to The Tulchan Group were Hammonds in Manchester led by Jane Haxby.