Venture capital firm takes minority stake in JoJo Maman Bébé

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Tenison and Emson: ideal partner

Tenison and Emson: ideal partner

Venture capital firm Magenta Partners has taken a minority stake in the specialist multi-channel baby, nursery and maternity retailer, JoJo Maman Bébé.

Magenta’s principal founder investors are the Singh Family Trusts and comprise Tom Singh, founder of New Look.

JoJo Maman Bébé has seen a 50% increase in sales from £18m to £27m between July 2009 to June 2011. Pre-tax profits have increased from 4% in the year ending 2009 to a forecast of 8% for the year ending June 2011; and there has been a 33% increase in employment, with the business now consisting of 350 employees, up from 241 in June 2009.

Chase Emson, partner of Magenta who joins the board of the company, said: “This business presents a fantastic opportunity for us to work alongside an exciting and entrepreneurial management team in the next stage of growth for this niche multi-channel retailer.

“JoJo Maman Bébé operates in a growing sub-sector of the apparel retail market, with a focus on quality, ethics and value that has helped build a strong market-leading brand.

“We intend to work with the management team to help expand the business in the UK and capitalise on international growth opportunities. Our extensive experience within the retail sector will enable us to bring incremental value to this already successful business.”

JoJo Maman Bébé was founded in 1993 by female entrepreneur and managing director Laura Tenison, who was named Veuve Clicquot businesswoman of the Year in 2010 and was awarded an MBE for services to business in 2004.

Tenison launched the business as a specialist maternity wear and baby clothing company and in the past six years the retail business has grown organically into a multi-channel operator, now with 36 stores across the UK and employing 350 people.

Laura Tenison, founder and managing director of JoJo Maman Bébé, said: “This is a unique business founded on a strict moral and ethical code of conduct. We have traded well throughout the economic downturn with positive like-for-like figures.

“Despite being courted by equity funds for many years we have only now found our ideal financial investor who rates these core brand values. We are delighted to be working with Magenta to grow the business in a sustainable manner and open up new opportunities that were out of the reach of our organic growth plan.”