Squire Sanders Hammonds Advises New Client JoJo Maman Bébé on Private Equity Investment

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    Squire Sanders Hammonds has advised JoJo Maman Bébé Limited and its founder Laura Tenison on a private equity investment from Magenta Partners, who have taken a minority stake in the specialist multi-channel baby, nursery and maternity retailer.

    The Squire Sanders Hammonds team advising JoJo Maman Bébé Limited was led by private equity partner Tim Hewens, assisted by corporate associate Alistair Francis, Peter Morley (tax), Miriam Lampert (employment) and Iain Shurwood (banking).

    JoJo Maman Bébé was founded in 1993 by female entrepreneur and managing director Laura Tenison, who was named Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year in 2010 and was awarded an MBE for services to business in 2004.  Tenison launched the business as a specialist maternity wear and baby clothing company and in the past six years the retail business has grown organically into a multi-channel operator, now with 36 stores across the UK and employing 350 people.

    JoJo Maman Bébé has seen a 50% increase in sales from £18 million to £27 million in the two years from July 2009 to June 2011.  Pre-tax profits have increased from 4% in the year ending 2009 to a forecast of 8% for year ending June 2011 and there has been a 33% increase in employment, with the business now consisting of 350 employees, up from 241 in June 2009. 

    Magentas’ principal founder investors are the Singh Family Trusts.  Tom Singh, founder of New Look, is one of the UK’s leading retail entrepreneurs. 

    Laura Tenison was advised on the investment by the consumer team at Clearwater Corporate Finance.

    Laura Tenison, founder and managing director of JoJo Maman Bébé, said: “With 25 years’ experience of running my companies in an entrepreneurial manner, this first foray into the world of corporate finance was a steep learning curve.  Tim Hewens and his team were proactive and helpful; advising me on the pitfalls whilst taking on board my issues of significant importance.  Together with Clearwater, SSH and I secured the right deal for JoJo Maman Bébé and our team of employees.”

    Commenting on the transaction, Tim Hewens said: “JoJo Maman Bébé has traded well throughout the economic downturn and with this investment Laura Tenison is now looking to grow the business by opening up new opportunities. The company and Laura are new clients for the firm and we look forward helping them grow the business further.”

    Nicola Woodmass
    Head of Communications
    Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (UK) LLP

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