Brian Souter moves into luxury fragrance market

Sir Brian Souter's investment vehicle behind luxury move. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Sir Brian Souter's investment vehicle behind luxury move. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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TRANPORT tycoon Sir Brian Souter’s investment vehicle has bought into luxury fragrance and interiors brand Clive Christian.

Souter Investments, together with Souter’s sister Ann Gloag and veteran city investor Jon Moulton, is part of a consortium which has acquired the business for an undisclosed sum.

Clive Christian, who will continue to hold a stake in the business he founded in 1978 and which is said to be behind the world’s most expensive perfume, will become creative director while Amy Nelson-Bennett, the former chief executive of Molton Brown, is taking over as chief executive.

Calum Cusiter, investment director of Souter Investments which is based in Edinburgh and Perth, said: “We are no stranger to investing in luxury brands having been part of the syndicate that successfully invested in Sunseeker, the motor yacht manufacturer.

“Clive Christian is one of the most respected luxury fragrance brands in the world and we look forward to playing our part in growing the business in the UK and around the globe.”

The brand is available in stores including Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Saks Fifth Avenue. It also has close associations with members of the Royal Family. In addition to perfumes, the Clive Christian name is also used for furnishings and interiors.

Christian said: “We have evolved to the stage where we now require new expertise and significant investment to move the brand forward in a progressive manner and I want to ensure succession plans are in place as well as a management structure that enables us to better grasp opportunities as they arise in market. I have retained a minority shareholding and will continue to be actively involved in the business.”

The Mayfair-headquartered company employs several hundred people and Christian said the brand is “unapologetically British, heraldic, opulent and committed to producing the absolute best in its field regardless of cost”. Its Clive Christian No 1 fragrance, launched in 2001, retails at $2,150 an ounce.