Thursfields has advised on the purchase of the country clothing ﬁrm which dressed the British equestrian teams at the London 2012 Olympics.
Mears, the Walsall-based company well known to riders and country sportsmen, has been acquired by the International Riding Company Ltd (IRCL), which already runs the Harry Hall International clothing business (HH) from its base in Bradford.
Mears, which produces everything from British tailored riding jackets to three-piece suits and hunt coats, was founded by the Mears family, and was most recently run by John Mears, who is selling the business after retirement.
Gareth Burge, Thursfields’ Commercial Director, acted for IRCL and HH, supported by his legal team including Kirsty Underhill (Corporate), Katie Williams (Commercial Property) and Stacey Woolmer (Commercial Property).
Mr Burge said: “Mears was a perfect match for IRCL’s and HH’s established brands and we were pleased to be involved in helping to make this deal happen. It’s encouraging to see such established British businesses combine their strengths in a traditional marketplace that really cares about all the clothing they purchase.”
Edward Wakeﬁeld, Co-Chairman of IRCL, said: “We are delighted to acquire such a well-regarded ﬁrm to add to our portfolio of brands in this sector. Mears’ range of patterns, its Walsall factory and its reputation for combining the best British made materials and workmanship make this an ideal marriage with our other brands including Harry Hall, Caldene, Masta and Tottie.
With our expertise and global contacts we look forward to developing the Mears product range further and introducing the brand to new customers around Britain and the world.”
John Mears said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the company started by my father in 1982 – and our loyal Mears employees – to develop as part of the IRCL group, who will further our passionate commitment to British manufacturing.”
Mears offers both off-the-peg and bespoke garments, and a well-established array of hunt clothes under its Pytchley label, all made in Britain from British fabrics.
Mr Wakefield said the purchase will allow IRCL’s Caldene and Harry Hall brands to expand their portfolio of British-made lines.
Julie Nuttall of HH will be the new Commercial Director of Mears, although the ﬁrm and its staff will continue to be based in Walsall.
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