Ashfords LLP and BDO LLP have advised the shareholders of a leading organic children’s clothing maker, Frugi, on the acquisition by True, Europe’s only retail and consumer investment and innovation firm, of a majority stake in Frugi.
Frugi designs, manufactures and sells sustainably-sourced organic cotton apparel and accessories for babies, children and new mothers. True will work with Frugi’s existing management team to support the company’s ongoing scalable growth.
Primarily sold via its welovefrugi.com website, alongside retail partners including John Lewis, Zalando, Next and independent stores, Frugi’s fun, ethical, and innovative designs have helped the Cornish company foster a loyal and engaged customer base, notably leading to a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2014.
The company uses only organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles - it recycles 36 to make one of its winter jackets- and gives 1% of its annual revenue to good causes.
True's Live Network, including its Startup Innovator and Leading Industry Partner programmes, will help Frugi identify next-generation marketing solutions, products and emerging technologies to accelerate international growth. True's Industry Partners include: John Lewis, Morrisons, LandSec, Abercrombie & Fitch, TJX and South African and Australian retailer, Woolworths.
Paul Cocker, True's co-founder said, “We invest in businesses, teams and people who forge retail and consumer change. Frugi’s approach to product integrity, ethics, brand loyalty and digital fulfilment reflects what modern shoppers want. Frugi has great potential and we are excited for the company’s next phase of growth.”
Ashfords provided legal advice to the Frugi shareholders on their sale. The Ashfords' team was led by Louise Workman, Head of Retail and a Partner in Ashfords’ corporate team and was assisted by Emma Clayton. Louise commented, “We have worked with the founders of Frugi for several years and were delighted to work with them on this transaction. This deal builds on our expertise in the retail sector and on working with exciting and innovative investors like True."
BDO’s mergers and acquisitions team acted as lead advisers on the deal and Laura Shaw, Partner at BDO LLP commented, "It has been a pleasure to work with such a talented management team and True Capital on this transaction. Frugi is a true feel-good, quintessentially British brand with undisputable demand from millennials driving parenting ideals. The brand has only really just touched the surface of its real potential and True are the perfect partners to take Frugi on the next stage of its journey”.
Frugi was founded in 2004 by Kurt and Lucy Jewson after they struggled to find clothes to fit over cloth nappies. 14 years later, Frugi is the UK’s leading ethical and organic children’s clothing brand available to buy online from and over 500 retailers in 34 countries. The full range includes tiny baby to ten years with a stylish maternity and breastfeeding range for mothers, as well as bedding, toys and accessories.
Designed in Cornwall, Frugi are passionate about clever details and famous for vibrant prints, fun appliqués and super comfy designs. The range is made from supremely soft, premium organic cotton or recycled materials. Frugi are proud to be certified by the Soil Association and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) receiving the highest level of certification in the world of leading textile processing standards.
Every year 1% of turnover is donated to charity through the Frugi Little Clothes, Big Change initiative. So far, customers have helped to donate over £428,000 to charity partners including Kicks Count, Pump Aid, The Sick Children’s Trust and The Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
Frugi is the trading name of Cut4Cloth Ltd registered in England, company number 5011885. The registered office is Wheal Vrose Business Park, Helston, Cornwall TR13 0FG
True (www.true.global) is Europe’s only retail and consumer sector specialist that operates across the entire investment vertical. True has total funds under management of £200m and invests in retail and consumer sector business models which represent the future of the industry.
True’s Live Network model brings together its private equity companies, startup innovators, investors and leading industry partners to add value, both strategically and operationally, across the retail and consumer spectrum.