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UK womenswear brand Seasalt halts sale process

By Huw Hughes


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Image: Seasalt AW21

Cornish-based women's fashion and lifestyle brand Seasalt has reportedly scrapped its sale process after nearly reaching a deal to be taken over by UK fashion giant Next.

The family-owned brand was exploring options following strong sales last summer and almost struck a deal with Next but ultimately ended the sale process amid an uncertain economy and market conditions.

“Over recent months, Seasalt has been exploring the option of additional external investment to grow the business at scale and pace,” the brand said in a statement seen by Drapers.

It continued: “Following a period of meetings with potential investors, we have made a conscious decision to step back from the process and we will not progress with a sale of the business at this point in time.”

The company, founded in 1981 by brothers Leigh, Neil, and David Chadwick, has traded strongly in recent years, even despite the pandemic.

In its most recent trading update, the company said Christmas sales for the five weeks to January 1, 2022 were up 20 percent compared to 2020, and up 33 percent compared with pre-Covid 2019 levels.

It said at the time it expected total sales in the year ending January 29, 2022 to approach 100 million pounds.

Not ‘ideal’ time for a sale

But Seasalt said the “current uncertain state of the market and the many unprecedented external factors affecting the economy obviously do not make this an ideal time for an investment that reflects the strength and quality of our business”.

For that reason, the company said it will “refocus our efforts on driving the business forward and progressing our plans to grow and build on our consistent and successful upward trajectory to date under our existing leadership and ownership structure”.

It added: “We believe this is the preferable route to achieving our ambitious business objectives in the present climate. We are approaching the coming months and years with confidence and energy.”

Seasalt sells women’s clothing, footwear and accessories inspired by maritime heritage in over 150 countries.