BancBoston Capital sells Unity Brands

BancBoston Capital has realised its investment in specialist lingerie manufacturer Unity Brands generating a return of six times its original investment. Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed.

Managing director Tony Thwaites acquired the company in 1993 from the Sterling Group and with the backing of BancBoston from 1997, Thwaites revitalised the brands’ independence, grew sales eight-fold, and extended the company’s geographical reach into Europe and the US.

The business generated a global turnover in 2004 in excess of £40m. Today, Unity Brands operates four brands: Rigby & Peller, which is the only range to hold the Royal Warrant of appointed Lingerie Manufacturers to HM Queen Elizabeth II and offers truly luxurious lingerie; Freya, which targets a younger audience with up-to-the-minute designs; Fantasie, which specializes in every day bras for the fuller-breasted woman through to the JJ cup; and Goddess, which offers classic and fashionable choices for the full figured woman.

David Jeffrey, managing director of BancBoston Capital, said: “Helping business managers with vision and ambition like Tony Thwaites is the key to successful private equity investing. A ‘win-win’ scenario like this, where BancBoston has made a highly satisfactory exit while at the same time assisting management to realise their own aspirations is especially rewarding.”