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Mishcon de Reya's Private Equity team advise on the sale of Seraphine

Posted on 5 January 2021

The Mishcon de Reya Private Equity team has advised on the secondary buy-out of maternity fashion brand, Seraphine, led by Mayfair Equity Partners (Mayfair). Mishcon acted for all selling shareholders, including the founder Cécile Reinaud, Bridgepoint Growth Capital and the management team.

The Mishcon Private Equity team also acted for Seraphine management (led by David Williams who joined from ASOS where he was Digital Experience Director) with respect to their new equity arrangements with Mayfair. Calling upon Mayfair’s expertise in digitally enabled and e-commerce businesses, Seraphine will look to further expand in new and existing markets, while also investing in product development and new digital channels.

Seraphine is a London-based maternity fashion brand founded in 2002 by Paris-born Cécile Reinaud. Selling in 127 countries around the world with flagship stores in London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai and New Delhi, Seraphine enjoys a global reputation as the go-to maternity and nursing brand for style-conscious mums-to-be as well as a long list of celebrity and royal clientele.

Seraphine has been part of Mishcon's Leap network since the programme was launched in 2015, recognising some of the most exciting and disruptive fast-growth businesses in the UK.

Through innovation, leadership and strong online operations, with 90% of its sales coming through digital channels, Seraphine has remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic with a constant revenue growth of 30% per year within a maternity wear market estimated at £5bn globally. Within this market, the online segment is gaining share rapidly, benefiting premium digitally led brands such as Seraphine.

Cécile Reinaud, Founder of Seraphine commented: "Mishcon were a great asset for the sale of Seraphine to private equity. Their in depth understanding of the dynamic between a business founder and the prospective buyer is a real advantage. Nadim offered excellent advice and is very knowledgeable on all the fine details that are pivotal to enable a company sale."

Nadim Meer, Head of Private Equity at Mishcon de Reya, who led the deal, commented: "Being one of Mishcon's Leap companies since 2015, it has been a pleasure to follow Seraphine as the business has grown. Having built up a relationship with Cécile over a number of years, we understood just how important this transaction was for her. We had to make sure the legal side of the sale process ran as smoothly as possible, particularly given the time of year, the broader external factors of COVID and the Brexit deadline. Equally, for David and the management team it was crucial to make sure that their ongoing arrangements with Mayfair gave them the best chance to succeed. It is a difficult balance to achieve but our experience and knowledge of these situations made it possible."

David Williams, CEO of Seraphine, said: “Mishcon went the extra mile for us both as a business and management team. In addition to being extremely accessible and fast at turning around key documents, their expertise in this sector and previous experience of doing deals of this type shone through in the quality of the advice given. We felt in very safe hands.”

Nadim Meer led the sale process alongside Managing Associate James Paterson, Associates Natasha Bassett and Alex Green and Trainee Max Nicolaides. Legal Director Allison Keyse advised on the Management Equity arrangements working closely with Associate Matilda Calvert-Barr and Partner Greg Campbell. Partner John Skoulding and Managing Associate Sarah Hein from the Mishcon Tax team advised on personal tax matters for the management team.

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