A clothing firm set up by a cycling enthusiast 25 years ago has been sold in a multi-million deal to brands group Pentland which is behind major names including Speedo and Berghaus.
Endura will continue to be based in Livingston and manufacture there following the deal which co-founder Jim McFarlane – who began making cycling shorts on the kitchen table at his flat in Edinburgh – described as a “fantastic opportunity”.
McFarlane revealed he and co-founder Pamela Barclay had received more than 50 approaches for the £25 million turnover business over the years but the opportunity for Endura – which produces clothing worn by many of the world’s top road, mountain bike and triathlon teams – to benefit from Pentland’s global reach and brand development expertise was a compelling one.
McFarlane and partner Barclay will remain at the helm of the business and retain a stake of around 15.5 per cent following the deal for an undisclosed sum. Glasgow-based private equity backer Penta Capital, fund manager Maven and investors including Schuh founders Colin Temple and Mark Crutchley and Scottish entrepreneur Kevin Hague have all exited the business.
Pentland is also behind brands including Canterbury of New Zealand and Mitre and is also a shareholder in Scottish wellington boot firm Hunter Boots. Endura will be its only brand in the growing cycling market.
Endura employs around 180 staff including 100 at its Livingston headquarters and manufacturing base and Pentland stressed the firm would remain in Scotland. Chirag Patel, chief operating officer of Pentland Brands, which sells products in 190 countries, said: “We have a strong track record of nurturing brands that people love, so Endura is a great addition to our portfolio – we believe it has huge potential. We’ll be supporting Jim, Pam and their team by giving them access to our extensive resources and network that, as a global brand management company, we can offer.
“There are so many opportunities in bringing Endura into Pentland Brands. We’re both family owned, so we understand the importance of people and culture, and our brands focus on innovation and bringing disruptive ideas to market.”
McFarlane said the opportunities for the business from being part of Pentland were “very exciting”, noting: “The innovation opportunities and the shared vision of manufacturing in Scotland that could extend to other Pentland brands in future, are both hugely exciting prospects to me.”
He added: “This has never been about who would offer the biggest price. The people we have worked with every day since we founded the business have been a very important aspect in this. We will be with Endura for years to come but we won’t be around for ever and we wanted to secure the best long-term future.”