Another acquisition for school uniform firm as it measures up opportunities for growth

November 15, 2018

Leading school uniform supplier Banner has snapped up another smaller rival in its second deal in less than five months as it aims for market leadership.

Trowbridge-based Banner, which has also operated the Blue Max Banner and BMB brands, bought Stockport-based F.R. Monkhouse in June, bringing with it nine retail stores and nine on-site school shops in large independent schools. 

Now Monkhouse has acquired Solihull-based Early Years Schoolwear. Founded in 1968, the family business has grown to become the official stockists for around 70 schools in the Solihull, Birmingham and Stratford areas.

Banner was acquired by its management in 2015 in a deal funded by growth capital investors MML Capital Partners. It then acquired school and sportswear specialists SWI and Orion in separate deals in 2016.

Last year it appointed Glenn Leech as chief executive to steer further growth as it aims to be the market leader in supplying uniforms and sportswear to the schoolwear industry. 

The Early Years Schoolwear deal was handled by the Bristol office of transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) and Exeter-based corporate finance advisers Isca Ventures – both also worked on the Monkhouse acquisition.

The WBD team was led by partner Tom Fitzpatrick with associate Alex Fergus. The Isca Ventures team included Matt Eves, Guy Eggleton and Al Halcrow.

Banner CEO Glenn Leech said: “WBD and Isca deserve a big thank you from the team at Banner for their really excellent support in getting the deal over the line when we said we would. It was particularly important to the seller and should help to further strengthen our reputation in the market for how we do business.”

Tom Fitzpatrick of WBD added: “We’re delighted to have advised F.R Monkhouse on this significant acquisition, which represents a further step in Banner’s strategy to be the market leader in school uniform retailing. We look forward to continuing to support them as they carry on with their dynamic growth strategy.”


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