May 16, 2017
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Charles Cohen buys Harrys of London shortly after Richard James buy

May 16, 2017

Richard James owner Charles Cohen has bought UK-based men’s footwear and accessories retailer Harrys of London and plans to push forward with an international expansion plan for the firm.

Harrys of London

The American real estate and movie billionaire, who acquired Savile Row tailor Richard James just a few weeks ago, plans to open more stores in London. And he will boost the label’s presence in North America, Asia and the Middle East saying he sees it as a business that could grow “on a global scale”.

He acquired the brand from current shareholders, the largest of which was Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, which has held a controlling stake since 2014. No price was disclosed.

Harrys chief executive Steven Newey is staying on in his role with Cohen set to become chairman of the firm.

The Harrys brand was launched in 2001 as a formal shoe brand and only opened its first London store in 2008, in Mayfair. It has since opened in the historic Burlington Arcade as well as having a presence in high-end department stores including Harrods and Lane Crawford. It is also stocked by stores in some of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East.

The fall of the pound since the Brexit vote last June has made UK companies cheaper for investors from outside of Britain. The most newsworthy example of this was Kraft Heinz’s attempt to buy Unilever for £115bn earlier this year. However, Unilever quickly rejected the move and Kraft Heinz said it would not make a hostile bid.

But a number of smaller deals in assorted industries have been successful, as the earlier Richard James buy showed. And while Harrys is the latest deal, the continuing weak pound means it is unlikely to be the last. London listed luxury firm Jimmy Choo is also up for sale, although a buyer trading in US dollars would get a better deal than it would have done a year ago, Choo’s share price surge of recent weeks means it is not the bargain it once was.

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