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Owner of Manchester nineties fashion mainstay Bench acquired by London investment firm


The Manchester owner of fashion brand Bench, a go-to brand for nineties celebrities such including Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher, has been sold to London investment company.

Beyond Bench, Apparel Brands’ portfolio also Nicce and Hooch, and it holds licences to sell Smith & Jones, Ed Hardy, Farah, Seafolly, Money and Caterpillar.

Bench was sold to Wraith, an affiliate of Apparel Brands, in April 2020 in a deal which excluded the right to use the brand in the Americas. Bench was previously rescued from administration in July 2018.

The latest filings with Companies House show that about 75 per cent of Apparel Brands’ shares are now held by Garm Bidco Ltd, whose sole director is Ejike Onuchukwu, a director at True Capital. The rest are held by Omp Brandco Limited, whose only director is Apparel Brands director Peter Wood. Amarjit Singh Grewal, a co-owner of French Connection, has also stepped down as a director following the deal.

Bench was founded in Manchester in 1989 by Nayef Marar and Barrie Suddons, and was later acquired in a £20m management buy out in 2004.

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