• Larry Kestelman - Queens Lane Capital chairman.
    Larry Kestelman - Queens Lane Capital chairman.

Larry Kestelman's LK Group has acquired fashion retail house Brand Collective for an undisclosed amount. 

The acquisition is the second in the fashion space for Kestelman, following his purchase of PAS Group in October 2020. 

Brand Collective houses a mix of owned-brands and licensed brands including Superdry, Clarks, Hush Puppies, Elwood, Volley, Shoes & Sox, Shoe Warehouse and Mossimo. 

The business employs more than 1,200 people across its operations which include product design, supply chain, warehousing/distribution and wholesale, retail and eCommerce stores.

Kestelman's acquisition of Brand Collective – which has a focus on footwear – will complement PAS Group's focus on fashion. 

"PAS is about 70% fashion and 30% shoes, [Brand Collective] is about 70% shoes and 30% fashion," Kestelman told the Australian Financial Review.

"Between the two businesses, we’ll end with about 50/50 shoes and fashion and 50/50 between retail and wholesale operations. 

"We’ll now have in the group 250 free-standing stores and 117 concessions in department stores and a comprehensive online and wholesale business," he told AFR. 

The acquisition comes as no surprise to many, after Kestelman told Ragtrader in January that he was interested in pursuing further buyouts. 

"We're looking to grow; we're looking to bolt-on brands and if we believe it's a great brand and we can add value to it we are certainly interested in acquisition," he told Ragtrader in January

"At a time where a lot of retail is struggling and going backwards, I think we've got a great supply chain and we do things pretty well.

"If there's businesses out there that we think we can add value to, we are certainly interested in looking at anyone who's thinking of selling out or bringing licenses to Australia.

"We're private equity company, we've got the capital to do it," he said. 

Based on this second acquisition, it would appear Kestelman has an appetite for fashion businesses that have a mix of owned and licensed brands. 

PAS Group owns Review, Black Pepper and Yarra Trail and also manufactures for brands including Everlast, Lonsdale and Slazenger through its licensing business Designworks. 

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