Clearwater International helps find a buyer for High & Mighty chain

Clearwater Advisor

Men’s clothing chain High & Mighty has been sold to one of the UK’s leading direct home shopping retailers, N Brown.

The sale, arranged by Clearwater International, will save 101 jobs and secure the future of the business, which had been affected by the retail downturn. N Brown’s subsidiary JD Williams has acquired the brand, website, stock and assets of 14 High & Mighty stores for £1.6m through a pre-pack administration. High & Mighty is the European market leader in clothing for big or tall men with 22 stores in the UK, and five franchises in Europe and the Middle East. It also sells through the internet and mail order. The company offers both own-label and branded clothing ranges. It is based in Newbury, Berkshire and had a turnover of around £13m. The business was founded in Hull in 1954 by Bernard Levy and opened its first outlet in Edgware Road, London in 1959 under the name of Northern Outsize Menswear. In the following two decades the company continued to expand and open stores in the UK, Holland and Germany. It changed its name to High & Mighty in the 1980s.

N Brown, based in Manchester, offers a wide range of clothing, footwear, household and electrical goods through catalogues, brochures and websites. Its Jacomo brand is also targeted at big or tall men.

The sale is yet another success for Clearwater International’s accelerated mergers and acquisitions service, which has helped to find buyers for a number of retailers in recent months. Clearwater International was called in by directors of the company to help find an investor who could regenerate the stock and invest in the business infrastructure to grow the product range and develop the multi-channel offering.

“High & Mighty is a very well-known high street name and one which operates in a growth area within the clothing market, however like many retailers it has been experiencing trading challenges.

“The N Brown group has the experience and resources to help return it to profitability. It is excellent opportunity to invest in an established brand with good growth potential and one that will complement N Brown’s existing portfolio of brands.

“The sale demonstrates the benefits of using an accelerated mergers and acquisitions specialist to market a business to as wide a pool of buyers as possible. Time is of the essence in cases like these but we were able to identify a number of potential buyers before agreeing a sale to the one which clearly was in a position to save as much of the business and as many jobs as possible.”

Phil Burns, Partner, Clearwater International