Exponent to acquire Radley

Exponent, the private equity firm, has confirmed that it is to acquire a majority stake in the upmarket handbag firm Radley & Co. Exponent is buying the stake from fellow private equity group Phoenix Equity Partners in a deal that values Radley at £130m.

The brand is sold in 500 independent retail outlets and department stores and the group expects much of its future growth to come from international markets. Radley handbags will be launched in the US in spring 2008 through Bloomingdales and Lord&Taylor and the Radley flagship store was opened in Dubai in September.

Radley’s revenues, which will exceed £60 million in the financial year to next April, have grown by an average of nearly 30% in each of the past five years.

Lowell Harder, Radley’s creative director and founder of the company, will remain as the “creative force” behind the company, Exponent said.