Designer sunglasses retailer Shade Station snatched up £ 10million deal


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An online retailer of branded sunglasses, watches and eyeglasses was acquired for £ 10million.

Shade Station, headquartered in Altrincham, was purchased by Internet Fusion Group (IFG), a fast growing e-commerce company that sells outdoor and fashionable clothing and which has grown through a strategy of purchase and construction.

IFG has secured a £ 13.7million loan from Hawkwing to finance the acquisition of Shade Station as well as Northcore, a brand of surf and adventure sports equipment.

Shade Station was founded in May 2000 by David Allen and Jocelyn Anders, and is one of the UK’s largest independent online retailers of affordable sunglasses from brands such as Tom Ford, Chanel, Dior, Gucci and Prada as well as trendy accessories.

David Allen and Jocelyn Anders

The company has also stepped up its international sales and trade globally, including South Africa, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Poland, Canada and India.

Shade Station also operates an on-site optical glazing laboratory that offers single vision prescription lenses in more than 5,000 designer eyewear from 100 brands.

The company generated unaudited revenue of £ 14.5million and EBITDA of £ 2.3million for the year ended April 30, 2021.

IFG has paid an initial consideration of £ 10 million on a debt and cash free basis.

There is a conditional earnout of up to £ 5million, depending on future business performance, an IFG expects the Shade Station earnout to be largely self-financing.

John Browett, Executive Chairman of Internet Fusion Group, said: “These acquisitions represent another important step in the execution of our purchasing and construction strategy.

“We have a compelling track record of acquiring profitable specialty retailers and transforming their performance and growth prospects through our Reactor platform, and we look forward to accelerating the future performance of Northcore and Shade Station.

“Both are fantastic companies providing authentic online retail experiences for people looking for high quality products from like-minded brands.

“Separately, the investments in our business by Hawkwing and Marshall Wace demonstrate strong investor confidence in our model, and I am excited about the momentum we continue to build in the market.”

Keith Sadler, senior independent non-executive director of Hawkwing, said: “We are delighted to support IFG in its purchase and build strategy and in its acquisition of Northcore and Shade Station, two companies that expand and enhance IFG’s range of well-respected specialty e-commerce businesses.

“As IFG continues to grow, Marshall Wace’s investment is another strong endorsement of the quality of its business, its leadership team and its growth strategy.

“Our plan to acquire IFG continues to progress and we look forward to updating the market in due course. “

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