Clearwater International advise on the sale of Stead & Simpson to the management, supported by Bank of Scotland

Clearwater Advisor

Press Release

Bank of Scotland Corporate today announced that it has provided an integrated finance package totalling £51.4 million to fund the buy-out of Stead & Simpson, the UK’s third-largest specialist shoe retailer, by its management. Bank of Scotland will itself be taking a minority stake in the business alongside the firm’s management team.

David Lockyer, the Chief Executive and Peter Foot, the Finance Director will both remain at Stead & Simpson and have reinvested a significant percentage of the sale proceeds back into the company. Barry Stevenson, a former director of Marks & Spencer and B&Q, joins the board on completion of the MBO as Chairman. The transaction delivers a complete exit for the retiring Chairman, John Shannon, and Development Securities PLC.

The MBO follows a strategic review by Clearwater International to explore exit options for shareholders and to secure funding for the group’s planned expansion.

Stead & Simpson generates annual turnover in excess of £140 million. It trades from over 400 stores under the Stead & Simpson, Shoe Express, Lilley & Skinner, Famous Footwear and Peter Briggs fascias. Headquartered at Syston near Leicester it employs 3,700 staff.

“Stead & Simpson is an excellent retail business which has outperformed in a challenging retail market. We look forward to working with the existing management to continue to build their business.”

Iain Pirrie, Director of Integrated Finance, Bank of Scotland

“Having seen management turn Stead & Simpson around since the late 90’s, we are delighted to have helped them achieve what we hope will prove to be a very successful MBO. The business has some outstanding prospects for growth across its varied store formats.”

Phil Burns, Partner, Clearwater International