Rcapital sells travel retailer Rolling Luggage to Samsonite

17/02/2015

Rcapital, the owner of global travel retailer Rolling Luggage, has today completed the sale of the business to Samsonite, the world’s largest luggage manufacturer and retailer.

Rcapital, the London-based private investor that specialises in the turnaround of distressed businesses, rescued the Rolling Luggage chain out of the global restructuring of the Tie Rack Retail Group in 2013. Rolling Luggage, with 36 stores in seven countries, had long suffered from both financial and operational under-investment until Rcapital bought the business and used its extensive turnaround skills to develop a thriving retail company, ultimately saving 350 jobs across the globe.

In October 2014, Rolling Luggage secured a long-term extension to its stores at London’s Heathrow Airport and Rcapital was approached by a number of organisations interested in acquiring the business. Today’s deal with Samsonite will allow the company to continue to build on its recent success and further accelerate its growth.

“We are delighted to have benefitted from the financial and operational support of Rcapital over the last 15 months. Since they took over the business, we have drawn on their skills and expertise to really improve and expand. We are looking forward to joining the Samsonite Group, allowing further opportunity for expansion and development of our retail proposition.”

Alex Willson, Managing Director of Rolling Luggage

Rolling Luggage is a leading global travel retailer of luggage and accessories. Established in 1995, the company has 36 stores in seven countries (UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Hong Kong, Macau and Australia) and sells premium luggage and fashion brands.

Rcapital is a private investment business that provides both growth and turnaround funding to UK companies. Established 11 years ago by Jamie Constable and Peter Ward, Rcapital uses its own capital to invest in and grow mid market businesses in a range of sectors. Since its inception in 2004, Rcapital has worked with over 50 businesses, some with financial and operational challenges and others experiencing rapid growth. The Rcapital team has a unique skill set in transforming small and medium sized firms by providing a robust financial platform for the business, forming strong partnerships with management and driving operational best practice. Rcapital focuses on SME businesses with turnover of between £5m and £200m.

Samsonite International S.A. (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, the “Group”) is the world’s largest travel luggage company, with a heritage dating back more than 100 years. The Group is principally engaged in the design, manufacture, sourcing and distribution of luggage, business and computer bags, outdoor and casual bags, and travel accessories throughout the world, primarily under the Samsonite®, American Tourister®, Hartmann®, High Sierra®, Gregory®, Speck® and Lipault® brand names and other owned and licensed brand names. The Group’s core brand, Samsonite, is one of the most well-known travel luggage brands in the world.

“We are thrilled with the outcome of today’s deal with Samsonite, which marks the end of a complex restructure and turnaround process. Rcapital was able to see the potential in the Rolling Luggage business, which has been validated by its sale to a major global player.”

“Rolling Luggage is an exciting new addition to Samsonite and is unlike any of our previous acquisitions,” said Ramesh Tainwala, Chief Executive Officer of Samsonite. “It immediately allows us to expand our footprint in the travel retail sector, an area that we see great potential for further growth. With the established retail and brand presence that Rolling Luggage has across some of the world’s highest-traffic airports, we see this acquisition very much as a strategic opportunity to strengthen our multi-brand retail platform, increase visibility for Samsonite products among our target consumers and drive sales by offering better product assortment within an improved in-store experience.”

Jamie Constable, CEO, Rcapital

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