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Hazlewoods advise on the acquisiton of Whittard of Chelsea by EPIC Private Equity

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22 January 2009

Whittard was founded by Walter Whittard in 1886, initially as a tea company. Under the continued stewardship of the Whittard family, the business moved away from house blends towards herbal and flavored teas, and launched new coffee products.

In the 1980s the firm grew rapidly, opening more than 80 stores in a five-year period. The total reached 100 in 1996 and the firm pushed into new international markets such as Singapore, the US and Dubai.

The company now sells a range of teas, coffees and crockery products and currently operates 130 stores employing 950 staff.

Whittard was purchased by the Icelandic group Baugur in 2005.  Following trading difficulties, an Administrator was appointed and a buyer sought.

The acquisition of Whittard complements EPIC’s strategy of acquiring carefully selected businesses, which includes the chain of Past Times shops.

Financial advice was provided to EPIC Private Equity by a team from Hazlewoods Corporate Finance in Gloucester led by Paul Fussell.  Legal advice was provided by Hammonds.

For further information on this press release, please contact Paul Fussell.