South African retailer snaps up Office for £256m

THE private equity owner of Office has agreed to sell the high street shoe chain to a South African retailer for £256m.

Shoes available from Office

Silverfleet bought Office in 2010 and has invested in its online sales and high street presence in the UK and overseas, creating 1,200 new jobs. Sales last year were £270m, of which 20 per cent were online.

The buyer is Truworths, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The transaction is subject to approval by the South African Reserve Bank.

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Gareth Whiley, partner at Silverfleet Capital said: “Office has been one of the great success stories in shoe retailing and has experienced tremendous growth in a competitive space.

“It is a fantastic business with an excellent management team whom we have worked with very closely over the past five years.

“We are delighted with our successful investment in the company achieving a 3.4 times return and wish the team every success in the future.”

Brian McCluskey, chief executive of Office, said: “I would like to thank Silverfleet for their support and commitment to our business over the last five years, during which time we have grown significantly in the UK and expanded into Germany.

“Together with Silverfleet we have grown the business into the success it is today. We are excited to have found a long-term strategic retail partner in Truworths International. We look to further invest in the business and continue our success as part of Truworths International.”