Bench is a casual clothing brand, owned by Manchester-based Americana International Limited. Initially a small menswear brand with roots in skate and BMX culture, known for strong graphic-based tees, hoodies and sweats, it has evolved into a global lifestyle brand, with wide international distribution, especially in Germany and North America.
Pragma undertook commercial due diligence for a potential buyer. We focused on Bench’s two main markets: the UK and Germany. In the former, the brand suffered from over-distribution in secondary channels, whilst in Germany, Bench operated in the primary channel, and therefore the image of the brand with the consumer was superior.
We concluded that the UK business required significant change, whilst the German business was considered to have good potential.
Our client decided not to proceed with the transaction. Since that review, market conditions became more challenging.
Pragma was asked by the company’s private equity owners to work with the new Chief Executive and conduct a strategic review to identify the best plan for realising value in the business.
Pragma undertook a comprehensive analysis of Bench’s main markets, providing a detailed review of each market and corresponding recommendations for the business. Our plan, developed with management, was approved by the shareholders.
Pragma was then retained by the management team of Bench, helping to implement the new business plan which helped stabilise the business and demonstrate the potential of the brand to a new investor.
EMERAM Capital Partners have signed an agreement to acquire Americana, owner of the international fashion brand Bench. The company, headquartered in Manchester, UK, was previously owned by HgCapital.
25th February 2014
In February 2014 German private equity firm EMERAM Capital Partners acquired Americana.
This was a very successful outcome for all concerned: the owners of Americana (Hg Capital), its management team and EMERAM, the business’s new owners.