Finance Yorkshire exit as Retra Holdings sold

Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire.

Finance Yorkshire has realised its investment in Silsden-based Retra Holdings after the cosmetics business was acquired by AIM-listed Warpaint.

The sale represents an exit for Finance Yorkshire’s Equity Linked Fund which invested £1.4 million in Retra after the business was acquired more than 10 years ago by managing director Kai Arter and his wife Linda.

The sale to Warpaint London plc represents a return of 2.5 times Finance Yorkshire’s original investment.

Employing more than 50 people, Retra is a colour cosmetics business focusing on the gifting market for high street retailers and supermarkets including Boots, Superdrug and Argos.

Retra owns three major brands, Technic, Body Collection and Man’s Stuff. It also produces white label cosmetics for several major retailers including Asda and Matalan.

Sales have grown from £5m in 2007 to £17.5m at the end of last year. Exports represented 42% of Retra’s sales in 2016.

Finance Yorkshire chief executive Alex McWhirter said: “This deal represents a good return on our investment and demonstrates how our Equity Linked Fund provided the necessary working capital to enable Retra Holdings to grow and prosper.

“The company has now reached its next growth stage which has attracted the acquisition by Warpaint.”

Kai Arter said: “The acquisition by Warpaint is a perfect fit as the two businesses are so complementary. New ownership will also allow the business to grow and develop as part of a bigger group which will lead to more opportunities.”

Sam Bazini and Eoin Macleod, joint chief executives of Warpaint, said: “This acquisition will provide Warpaint with access to new customers and suppliers, increased numbers of product development personnel and additional exposure to the gifting market, an area of increasing focus for Warpaint.

“The acquisition will help accelerate Warpaint’s growth both domestically and internationally. We look forward to welcoming the Retra team into Warpaint and combining the businesses to derive new opportunities and synergies.”

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire