Partial exit for LDC

The management of fashion and accessories supplier Stirling Group has completed a £16m deal to take control of the business providing a partial exit for backers LDC. Group chief executive Steven Bentwood, financial director Peter Rusby and managing director Adrian Pettiford have completed a secondary management buyout, which will increase their equity stake from 22% to 70%.

It comes just 18 months after the same team delisted from the London Stock Exchange in a £27m transaction backed by the Manchester office of private equity firm LDC.

LDC, which initially invested £11m for a 70% share of the business, has made a partial exit and retains a 30% stake going forward. The deal results in an IRR of 55% for LDC. The Manchester office of Royal Bank of Scotland has provided debt funding for the deal.

Since privatisation the business has focused on its core lingerie business and as part of this strategy Stirling Group has successfully completed the sale of its non-core subsidiaries. In November 2004 the firm sold its Hong Kong-based sourcing business Tamarind International to the Linmark Group for £16m. In the same month it sold its Brands division, which included the surf wear brand Voodoo Dolls, to Brands Inc for an undisclosed amount.